NewEnergyNews: CUTTING EDGE HYDROGEN?

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    Friday, September 29, 2006

    CUTTING EDGE HYDROGEN?

    Israeli researcher: Forget gas, fill your tanks with water
    Nicky Blackburn, September 17, 2006 (Israel 21c)
    - With fears for the environment growing and the price of fossil fuels rising, a team of Israeli researchers working in Israel and the US is working on a new emission-free method to run your car - with water…

    - Dr. Tareq Abu-Hamed, an Israeli scientist currently at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues, Professor Jacob Karni, and Michael Epstein, head of the Solar Facility at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have developed a new method to produce hydrogen fuel cheaply, efficiently and safely while at the same time addressing current onboard storage or transportation problems…The scientists use the element boron, a lightweight semi-metallic element, to react with water to produce hydrogen that can be burnt in an internal combustion engine or fed to a fuel cell to generate electricity. The goal is to create hydrogen on demand - enough hydrogen to match the needs of the car's engine…
    - Hydrogen-on-demand removes the need for costly hydrogen pipelines and distribution infrastructure, and also makes hydrogen vehicles safer…According to Abu-Hamed, an Israeli Arab from east Jerusalem, there are no CO2 emissions from this process. The only by-product is boron oxide, which can be removed from the car, and converted back into boron for re-use…Abu-Hamed and his team estimate that to create the same energy content as a 10 gallon tank of gasoline, the car would have to carry 40 pounds of boron and 12 gallons of water. Together they would produce 11 pounds of hydrogen - enough to fuel an average car for 220 miles…still only at research stage, a functioning prototype is expected by 2009…efforts to commercialize the technology will begin in the next one to two years…
    - One of the problems with this method is that boron is expensive, but Abu-Hamed believes that the use of solar energy to recycle the boron, will reduce costs…

    - Abu-Hamed was born in the village of Sur Bahir in east Jerusalem. During his youth, he spent his summers picking fruit on nearby kibbutzim, working side by side with people from all over the world. There he learned how to speak English, and discovered other cultures…joined the environmental sciences and energy research department at the Weizmann Institute some three years ago, after taking his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Ankara University in Turkey…joined Weizmann at the height of the intifada, but despite the worsening political climate, he found the staff welcoming. "At the Weizmann Institute, science is the only thing that matters," he admits…

    - Abu-Hamed moved to Minnesota earlier this year, where he is taking second post-doctoral fellowship…he plans to continue working on the hydrogen research with his Israeli colleagues…worked hard to promote Israeli-Palestinian understanding. Every summer he organized and accompanied tours of the Clore Garden of Science on the Weizmann campus for Palestinian children attending summer programs in his village. Some 300 children aged between nine and 15 took part in these tours… Abu Hamed believes that the future holds more cooperation, but it will require change and a new generation willing to support it…

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