As countries aspire to move away from fossil fuels and minimize their carbon emissions, the limitations of renewable energies are also coming to the fore. Electric engines that can power transoceanic flights are still a distant reality and therefore, alternate fuels like hydrogen also need to be developed. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have now found a simple way to generate hydrogen fuel anywhere, using aluminum and water.
Hydrogen has the potential to replace fossil fuels in jet engines, for the generation of electricity, and even for long-term storage of energy. However, for extensive usage, gas needs to be transported from its site of manufacture to utilization, which is currently fossil-fuel-powered as well. Additionally, even the generation of hydrogen results in the release of greenhouse gases, which quite beats the purpose of using hydrogen in the first place.
Dr. Laureen Meroueh along with Professor Douglas Hart and Professor Thomas Eager at MIT have shown that hydrogen can be generated by reacting aluminum with water. The reaction occurs at normal room temperature and leads to the formation of aluminum hydroxide while releasing hydrogen gas.
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