Accidental Discovery of Hydrogen from Aluminum to Power Up Cars and Gadgets

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Fuel is not only expensive. This time, it can be hard to get too. The fuel in fuel-generating countries is starting to dry up so it can be a challenge to look for other resources.

Not the First Discovery

Luckily, there is a new way to create hydrogen for fuel cells. It was discovered when water was introduced to a special kind of aluminum alloy.

These fuel cells were once known as one of the best alternatives to fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the development of this technology hit a bump. This was when there were challenges in making the fuel cells lighter and more cost-efficient for commercial usage. The main problem for this is to find a safe storage for the hydrogen.

Accidental Discovery

The researchers from the United States Army Research Laboratory accidentally discovered a way to jump start the fuel cell technology development. They discover this while they were working on a new type of aluminum alloy which is high-strength.

The researchers pour water on the alloy during their routine test. This was when they discovered that it could naturally produce hydrogen glass when in contact with water.

When used on a normal aluminum, pouring water on it will just create rust or oxidizing reaction. The rust will encase the aluminum to prevent it from a further chemical reaction.

However, the alloy did not react this way. It continues to produce hydrogen as long as it is still in contact with water.

The team leader and material engineer named Scott Grendhl discovered that the special aluminum is 100% efficient in just three minutes. If this is further developed, the new aluminum alloy can create better batteries. These batteries can power up not just cars and other vehicles but also gadgets too.

Creating the special alloy is as easy as scrapping aluminum. It limits the slow and costly production too.