A portable device that makes fire from water has been developed within a European research project. It doesn’t use flammable gases, it produces its own fuel as needed.
Andrew Ellis, a research technologist with ITM Power, explained: “This is an electrolyzer system we’ve got here. It’s been developed to use a standard mains electricity supply, and water. The water is split into hydrogen and oxygen gases and fed into a torch where a flame is produced, which can then be used for brazing or any other industrial application where flame is used. So it’s just using water to make a flame, basically.”
Traditionally, the use of electrolyzers has been limited by the high costs of membranes and of catalysts requiring platinum or other precious metals. The researchers wanted to make this technology more affordable.
Andrew Ellis said: “We’ve got a whole team of chemists working on new formulations of membrane, which have shown increases in the performance of the electrolyzer. We’ve also been doing lots of research on catalysts, trying to reduce the amount of platinum and looking into much cheaper materials that can be used in the cells. And this research has led to big reduction in the cost of electrolyzer systems.”
Hydrogen and oxygen are recombined at the very tip of the torch, creating a flame that is cooler and much easier to handle than commonly-used mixtures of oxygen with propane or acetylene.
Rory Olney, a welding consultant, said: “You can see from the flame that it’s a lot softer compared to something like an oxy-acetylene flame. There’s no actual hot spot just off the tip of the nozzle, so glare from the flame is a lot less aggressive on your eyes. So you see I’m just wearing clear goggles.”
Pressurized bottles containing acetylene are dangerous and inconvenient. Their use is banned in locations where gas leakage could be too risky. And the hot oxyacetylene flame requires extra care when working with sensitive metals such as aluminium.
Steven Baines, a specialist in materials and joining, and the TWI/SafeFlame Project Coordinator, said: “We have high temperature, high velocity, which can melt the workpiece very quickly, and that’s one of the principle downsides.”
Hydrogen-based flame is more gentle, and cleaner too, because it only produces water when it burns.
Nick Ludford, a materials scientist with TWI, said that compared to acetylene gas, they anticipate that the cost of the gas in their new unit would be at least 20 times cheaper than acetylene – because of the absence of expenses like gas storage, insurance, and transport.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Integrated energy system could see 110 GW of electrolyzers in Germany and Netherlandson January 24, 2020 at 1:22 am
With hydrogen or synthetic fuels hailed as the way to provide much-needed dispatchability for intermittent renewables generation, the coastal regions of Germany and the Netherlands could host 110 GW ...
- Phosphate Recovery from Swine Wastewater by a Struvite Precipitation Electrolyzeron June 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm
A schematic diagram of the experimental system is shown in Fig. 6. The electrolyzer consisted of four magnesium plates and four carbon plates, with the magnesium plate being used as the anode and ...
- Global Hydrogen Electrolyzer Market 2019 to 2028 - Siemens AG, Nel Hydrogen, McPhy Energy SA, ITM Power Plc, Hydrogenics, Areva H2Genon June 14, 2019 at 9:09 am
In electrolysis, electricity is used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen in a system known as an electrolyzer. A hydrogen electrolyzer is a system with an electrolyte solution, in which the ...
- H2Generator - Standard Electrolyzer Systemon December 19, 2018 at 6:01 pm
Today's standard system for producing solar generated hydrogen consists of a solar cell array connected to an electrolyzer. An electrolyzer is an electrolysis device that uses electricity to split ...
- Hydrogenics to Supply Large-Scale PEM Electrolyzer for Hydrogen Fueling Station in Europeon October 16, 2018 at 6:28 am
Surplus energy generated by a local waste incinerator will be used to power the electrolyzer and generate hydrogen. The Hydrogenics system will be delivered during 2019 and produce over 400 kilograms ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Reducing The Risk Of Flying With Hydrogen Fuelson January 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Flight shaming is the hot new thing where people who take more than a handful of trips on an airplane per year are ridiculed for the environmental impact of their travels. It’s one strategy for ...
- WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: Wetherspoon Settles, Restaurant Group Soarson March 15, 2019 at 4:06 am
The electric buses will be developed, sell and services using Proton's modular HyRange systems, the company's hydrogen-based fuel cell ... adds properties such as flame resistance and ...
- Modi government pushes for alternative fuels, electric vehicles in bid to curb air pollutionon January 27, 2018 at 5:16 am
Methane is a clean burning, high flame speed fuel that was the prescribed fuel in ... G Madhavan Nair, former chairman of the space agency, says hydrogen-based systems would be the right choice in the ...
- Hydrogen-based fuel reduction system to cut transport costs by 10 percenton June 20, 2016 at 3:15 am
Hydroflex is preparing for final trials of its version one hydrogen-based fuel reduction system ... the process and thereby because it moves the flame front faster it burns more of the fuel ...
- MagneGas Receives $382,500, Signs Definitive Agreements for Expansion into Gulf Coast, Including $775,000 Equipment Saleon November 13, 2015 at 6:04 am
The Company owns a patented process that converts various liquid wastes into hydrogen based fuels ... for MagneGas® fuels utilizing its high flame temperature for co-combustion of hydrocarbon ...