* Does it defy laws of thermodynamics ?
* How the natural energy is harvested ?
* Is it simply rapid oxidation of metals ?
The Science Behind The Technology
The first law of thermodynamics states that within a closed system, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. It’s not just a written law that governs this, nature and creation prove that energy is matter, and matter does not just appear without a source. This fact however, does not outlaw energy transformation within an open system, to deliver a greater output energy.
For example the common Heat Pump air conditioning systems produce more output thermal energy than the input electrical energy. The energy ratio is typically around 3kW thermal energy for every 1kW of electrical energy consumed, giving an effective efficiency of 300%.
One would argue that according to the law of thermodynamics it’s impossible to have an efficiency of more than 100%, as this implies that energy is being created.
The reason it appears there is more energy being produced than consumed, is because the only valuable energy input is electricity used to drive the compressor and fans. The remainder of the energy simply transfers from a heat source in one place and moved to another. The ambient air is, in this example, free energy added or transferred to boost the total efficiency as permitted in the law of thermodynamics.
The efficiency of the H2IL electrochemical energy solution is achieved in the same way. The technique simply transfers a fuel from one place to another with a method that is not energy intensive. Hydrogen, the fuel, is transferred (or extracted) from water with a method that is much less energy intensive than electrolyzers. The fact that a hydrogen atom delivers a huge amount of energy means that a low energy method of releasing it from bonds would logically equate to an end energy efficiency greater than 100%. The input power is a catalyst, like the compressor of a heat pump, that stimulates a secondary natural energy to free the bonds and release the abundant hydrogen atom.
How A Natural Energy Releases Hydrogen:
To protect the valuable hidden IP, we don't publish any of the scientific complexities. However, following is a basic explanation of the technology.
The natural energy is galvanic energy generated from bi-metals while in an ionic state. Metals of differing voltage potentials are bi-metal in the Galvanic series.
The ions produced by the Galvanic metals are accelerated to induce a charge potential high enough to rapidly dissociate water before ions are converted to atoms. The chemistry causes the Oxygen ion to release the bound Hydrogen with ease.
If the ions were first converted to stable atoms before splitting water, then it would still require 237kj per mole or 60kWh of electricity to produce a kilogram of hydrogen. Converting an atom to an ion is very energy intensive and is why conventional electrolyzers are energy intensive and generate so much heat
When immersed in sea water, the natural voltage potential between galvanic metals causes oxidation that releases hydrogen. This ionic redox reaction is typically so slight that the release of hydrogen is hardly noticeable and the decay of metals takes several years.
H2IL discovered and developed a technique that accelerates this natural reaction by introducing a low stimulus current. Accelerating the ions to increased a spontaneous charge potential between electrodes that dissociates water at a much faster rate but without rapid electrode oxidation.
The technology does not create energy, it simply releases a fuel (Hydrogen) from water bonds to be converted into usable energy by fuel cells etc. The fact that hydrogen atoms are so abundant in water means that only a small portion of the fuel, released so easily, is being converted back into electricity to provide the input stimulus.
The amount of hydrogen generated is only limited by scale and the volume of internal galvanic metal. For example the cubic meter cell produces 1kg/H2 for just 1.2kWh input power and accelerates by a slight increase of the input voltage.
The technology is not conventional electrolysis that requires brute-force energy at a rate of 237KJ per mole of water.
As with other forms of “renewable” energy, where the source of fuel is virtually limitless, it is the total cost of generation rather than the efficiency that really matters. It would be logical to conclude that the bi-metal electrodes are the fuel and would need to be added into the calculation.
Within all electrolysis cells the anode electrode is eventually consumed. Therefore one may conclude that within a galvanic ion accelerator, the metals providing the charge potential would consume rapidly. However this is not the case in this application.
Its all a factor of energy efficiency. How the technology harvests the energy without rapid electrode oxidation could be understood using the flashlight case in point.
Flashlight batteries are not charged like lithium batteries. They die when the electrolyte dries-up which is well before the electrodes decay. Modern technology has enabled the flashlight battery to last much longer while delivering more useful energy.
For example a 45W LED light delivers 5800 Lumens of light energy compared to only 450 Lumens from a 45W incandescent lightbulb. In addition, for 200 hours of service the LED flashlight consumes 8 batteries compared to 80 batteries consumed in the old incandescent technology.
Within standard alkaline electrolyzers, converting a stable electron to an ion is very energy intensive and consume electrodes.
Within the H2IL technology, converting galvanic energy while the electrons are charged ions is much more efficient than converting external power to ions. It’s simply a case of using energy more efficiently which, intern extends the life of the galvanic energy.
The technology does not split the water molecules using brute force electricity, which would consume electrodes. Also the electrolyte is pre-conditioned to become an ionic substance which becomes more anodic than the electrodes. The chemistry is quite complex but accomplishing an energy combination at an ionic level means very little energy loss and ease of molecule separation.
The technology does not require expensive and scarce metals such as platinum, ruthenium or iridium used in most PEM type electrolysers. The electrodes are made from low-cost and abundant metals. PDF DOWNLOAD
Pure hydrogen is produced. In conventional electrolysis the Anode is a solid metal plate that oxidises the hydroxide ion forming a bubble of oxygen gas. Within the electro-chemical process of this cell, the pre-conditioned electrolyte reduces the oxygen ions and releases the H2 ion from the hydroxide. The Oxygen ion forms a covalent bonds with this Anodic bi-product which in turn is removed with liquid circulation.
We have confirmed the gas quality with: 1/ Oxygen line flow sensors, 2/ Ignition testing 3/ Chemical testing for other impurities and 4/ Direct feed to a PEM Fuel Cell (PEMFC). A PEMFC is very sensitive to impure gas and the performance would drop off should the hydrogen not be 99% pure. (90% mix is safe, so adding more 0,99999 to the 99% purity number is irrelevant.)
We achieve a steady 1.73% higher voltage with a 50% load on the PEMFC. (1.73% higher than hydrogen feed from a PEM Electrolyser with a rated 99.99% purity. both gasses were at the same temperature). These results are matched each time we run a three hour test. We have run enough tests on the PEMFC to be convinced that the output hydrogen is extremely pure.
It is also to be noted that this green hydrogen is more pure than brown and blue hydrogen obtained from reformation, which inherently has a carbon-monoxide (CO) contamination content.
"Hydrogen is the abundant fuel bound in water molecules. This is simply a highly efficient method of releasing it from the bonded state"
There is no toxic by-product produced. The byproduct has a neutral PH of 7.
The only active item consumed is metal electrodes. These decompose naturally over several months. Breaking down into minute particles that can be recycled or put back into the earth in the same non-toxic form as when they were first mined.
When stacked up beside other forms of alternative energies this method has a very small total pollution footprint. When solar panels and storage batteries are consumed and decommissioned they will end up as toxic land fill resulting in a huge, repeating environmental impact.
H2IL is working on some exciting methods of using the byproduct in practical applications including battery technology.