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Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 9:47 AM

hydrogen fuel pellets power UAV (drone)

This is an emerging improvement to hydrogen storage in solid-state ( X-hydride ) that releases up to 1 liter of hydrogen gas per gram material. It is stable, can be stored long term, and has low vapor pressure, thus allowing the material to be shaped into any convenient shape. The only requirement for use is heating to 100 ┬░C.

The company is working with chemical industry (partners) to advance the recycling aspect of the fuel pellets (plastic composites) that can actually be pumped by something like a vacuum cleaner. They currently cannot recycle simply by exposing to high pressure hydrogen, but I presuppose this (if ever developed) would be a key to rapid recycling of the pellets. I expect the current technology is a lengthy involved process of recycling the left-overs back from an oxidized form (or just the free metals?) to the metal hydride. The whole thing is proprietary, so only the insiders will have full access to schemes for recycling.

My question/challenge: If this already has 3 times the energy density of Li+ ion battery technology how would it not immediately burst forth in the hybrid vehicle market? Especially since refill is completely simple and safe, and totally unlike other hydrogen refueling schemes. Of course, low carbon footprint energy can be utilized to prepare the fuel pellets, or not. Electrons have no bias as to origin.

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#1

Re: Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 11:11 AM

I can't see hydrogen as being anything other than a niche fuel industry. It's not a fuel in the same sense that gasoline and natural gas are, taken from underground and refined. Hydrogen, as a fuel source, has to be made. Energy has to be used to create it, and the most energy that can be extracted and used will always be less than the energy expended to make it.

It will be useful in some niche cases. Rocketry is an obvious example, where one would be willing to pay the creation cost because hydrogen fuel has other related benefits. As a fuel supply for Earth-confined vehicles its competition is battery power. The battery industry is both mature (in many ways) and rapidly advancing, so hydrogen will be a tough sell. IMHO

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 11:25 AM

Although this technology will surely win out in most segments of the UAV market, I must agree it is not mature to "take over the energy world".

While it may be that the competition for ground based electric vehicles is battery powered vehicle, the final word is not yet in on which scheme eventually will:

(1) store the most long-term stored energy

(2) provide that energy with the highest efficiency of all in the class, or across classes

(3) provide that energy in the safest usable format with the least number of catastrophic failures and fires in accidents.

(4) exhibit the lowest overall pollution profile (including gaseous emissions, heavy metals, alkaline or acidic pollution, hazardous organic compound release in the environment, etc.)

One recent advance in lead-acid batteries will give all the energy storage from renewables a good run for its money. They added an ultracapacitor to the battery, thereby allowing the battery to operate well on shallow charge, and have high output even on partial charge state.

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#3

Re: Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 12:32 PM

'battery industry' is not a term that identifies a particular technology. In fact finding a way to store energy and allow for it's release when needed more economically than the competition is the only factor moving the industry forward. (greenly of course)

I believe hydrogen has more potential than it's been allowed to enjoy. This will be huge if the cost to produce and use are low enough.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 2:14 PM

I believe you are making sense. Be careful, we don't allow that here.

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#5

Re: Cella Energy Hydrogen Storage Pellets

02/11/2016 8:16 PM

The intended application determines what type of fuel is optimum. For land vehicles, efficiency is important. To determine efficiency, you have to take into account the amount of energy it takes to make the fuel as well as the energy in the fuel.

For drone applications, the important parameter is energy density (MJ per kg), which relates directly to the maximum range or endurance time of the drone, and the energy needed to make the fuel is not so important.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

Since the referenced article refers to drones, I suspect the efficiency is low (no data is available) but the energy density is the important parameter, and it would not necessarily translate into a good fuel for land vehicles.

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