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Israeli Startup Tackles On-Board Hydrogen Generation for Combustion Engines

23 September 2005

A sketch of the Engineuity process.

An Israeli startup, Engineuity R&D Ltd, claims it has developed and demonstrated a technology for on-board hydrogen production for use with a modified internal combustion engine.

The technology is based on a high-temperature process causing a light metal wire (e.g., aluminum or magnesium) to react with water, producing a hydrogen/steam stream. The hydrogen/steam mixture entering the engine is oxidized by air, thereby using both the chemical energy stored in the hydrogen and the thermal energy produced by the reaction.

The spent product from Engineuity’s process is a light metal oxide that is eventually separated and sent back to the factory for electrochemical recycling.

Engineuity says it has produced a continuous flow of hydrogen and steam under full pressure, temperature and power control. The company is now working on the integration of its production unit with a modified engine.

The refueling and waste removal process sounds like the most complex aspect of the scheme. The vehicle will contain a mechanism for rolling the metal wire into a coil during the process of fuelling, while the spent metal oxide is collected from the car by vacuum suction.

The volume required for containing the metal wire is similar to the volume required for gasoline; however the “fuel” weight will be 3 times greater.

The production unit ostensibly can also be used for producing hydrogen for fuel cells and other applications requiring hydrogen and/or steam.

This is actually not the first attempt at using the reaction between aluminum and water to produce hydrogen to fuel a car. A European patent filed in 1982 and a US patent filed in 1987 also describes such a device.

The inventor—Francois Cornish—apparently even enticed BMW to test it in 1981. Although the device performed, fueling a test car for a 70-minute run, one of BMW’s areas of concern was the disposal of the waste oxide.

Engineuity R&D is a start-up company operating within an incubator program run by the Ashkelon Technological Industries. One of the founders of the company is Prof. Amnon Yogev, recently retired from the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he, among other functions, led the Energy Research Center.

Prof. Yogev also held various positions in the defence services and was an active member of numerous EU energy related committees, planning the 6th Framework Program.

September 23, 2005 in Concept Engines, H2 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


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How much h2 we can get from an on board fuel metal coil, how is the efficiency of electrolysis of the metal oxide compare to electrolysis of water directly, how much will a coil of aluminium will cost... etc. Things are really conceptual here.

Posted by: rexis | Sep 23, 2005 5:38:30 PM

Hydrogen as used in internal combustion makes for an exceptionally poor performing and low efficiency fuel powerplant. BMW's best efforts so far are only making the power of a decade's old 4 cylinder, with half the fuel longevity... not to mention a much greater weight.

This technology will never be feasable, it is too heavy, too weak, too complex, and too inefficient.

Posted by: Ash | Sep 24, 2005 6:01:23 AM

Actauly hydrogen ice engines are quite potent as long as they are designed right. And they are fuel eff too.

As for this gizmo its more gimmick then wonder. It likely only makes a whisp of hydrogen and likely the hydrogen it does make recombines with the ox before it even entires the engine itself.

Posted by: wintermane | Sep 24, 2005 8:12:50 AM

The Weizmann Institute has been testing a solar thermal zinc oxide-carbon to zinc energy cycle. Maybe it is zinc wire.

Posted by: tom | Sep 24, 2005 2:35:27 PM

What a stupid idea. Why not just uyse natural gas in thge engine. Clean, cheap, simple. Hydrogen is a bad way of storing energy, really bad.

Posted by: John | Sep 25, 2005 12:09:21 AM

Hydrogen as a fuel.


It’s odd I remember about 10 years ago here in the UK a TV program called Tomorrows World demonstrated a car that ran on Coca Cola and more recently I think it was a Bus company in Basingstoke UK that adapted public buses to run on part diesel and water yet here we are years on and none of these ideas are actually in everyday use and now we are claiming a car that can make its own fuel.

Ok I’m no chemical expert but can understand the basic principals and to some extent most of the ideas do appear to work so why have they not taken off?

Rumours exist that the fuel companies will buy and destroy any new anti oil based fuel’s in fear of loosing trade and to be honest the announcement of BP’s predicted record profit of £11 Billion this year (2005) is convincing enough for me.

Oddly notice it’s an Israeli company announcing the new hydrogen fuel car.

The manufactures web site.

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Posted by: Brian Moreau | Oct 26, 2005 2:09:33 AM

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