Joining the ranks of scientists clamouring to develop safe and effective ways of turning hydrogen into fuel is Dr. Tareq Abu-Hamed, an Israeli Arab from Jerusalem. He and Michael Epstein, from the Solar Facility at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, have developed a new method to produce hydrogen fuel that addresses onboard storage and transportation problems. Reported in Israel21c, Abu-Hamed and Epstein are using boron, a lightweight semi-metallic element to react with water to produce hydrogen that can be burnt in an internal combustion engine or fed to a fuel cell to generate electricity. ::Israel21c“Boron and water can be stored separately in two containers. Mixing them in a controlled fashion will release hydrogen as demanded by the engine," says Abu-Hamed, who adds that the only by-product is boron oxide, which can be removed from the fuel cell and converted back into boron for re-use.
The technology is currently being implemented in a solar-powered plant. And while Abu-Hamed's sights are set on the automotive industry, a prototype is expected to be ready only by 2009. Abu-Hamed believes that efforts to commercialize the technology will begin in the next one to two years.
"This will become a reality," Abu-Hamed, now living in the US, told Israel21c. One of the problems with this method he explained is that boron is expensive, but Abu-Hamed thinks that by reclycing boron, huge costs will be reduced.
(Ma’a is Arabic for water) ::Israel21c