Washington: SiGNa Chemistry Inc. has created new hydrogen cartridges – a cheap, eco-friendly and portable solution to produce electric power for laptops and phones.
The source of these cartridges is called sodium silicide.
“In our lab, we were able to produce alkali metal silicides, which basically are made from sodium and silicon, which, in turn, are produced from salt and sand,” said James Dye, SiGNa’s co-founder and University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at MSU.
“By adding water to sodium silicide, we’re able to produce hydrogen, which creates energy for fuel cells. The byproduct, sodium silicate, is also green. It’s the same stuff found in toothpaste.”
A power platform was developed to produce low-pressure hydrogen gas on demand, convert it to electricity via a low-cost fuel cell and emit simple water vapour.
“I’ve been working with alkali metals for 50 years. My research was closely related to what SiGNa was looking for. So when they came to me with their idea, it was a relatively easy adaptation to make,” said Dye.
The fuel cell ranges in size from 1 watt to 3 kilowatts and is capable of pushing a bicycle up to 25 mph for approximately 100 miles.
First Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011, 00:19