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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

ARL seeks manufacturers for its galvanic aluminium powder

31 July 2018
The ARL is reaching out to industry to find potential manufacturers for the galvanic aluminium powder that has been found to be a safe and efficient way to create hydrogen for fuel cells. Source: US ARL

Key Points

  • Last year’s discovery will make it easier to store and transport hydrogen
  • ARL could begin receiving industry licensing applications by September

The US Army believes the discovery last year by a team of its scientists for a new approach to creating hydrogen fuel from a nano-galvanic aluminium-based powder could have a significant impact on the energy economy.

The discovery is now leading officials at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to take a more proactive approach to seek out companies that can not only manufacture an aluminium powder to produce hydrogen, but who can use the material in their own manufacturing processes.

The powder, which can be made into a tablet shape could overcome some of the greatest challenges of working with hydrogen, namely the difficulty in storing and transporting a flammable gas that must be pressurised, Joshua Houck, technology transfer action officer for ARL, told Jane’s .

“This technology allows us to keep hydrogen as a fuel source, in a solid form, that can be easily and safely transported,” Houck said. “What the [principle investigators] have done is create that first stepping stone as far as the fuel goes for that hydrogen economy.”

ARL has filed for a US patent as well as a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) that makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single ‘international’ patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications, according to an ARL spokesperson. This application will allow the eventual patent licensees the option to begin the process to pursue international patent rights in those foreign countries in which they will conduct business.

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