Laser Hydrides are fabricated into compact disks which share similar properties with audio CDs. They react when exposed to laser light by changes at the molecular level. These changes allow hydrogen trapped within the disk to be set free. The hydrogen is then delivered to a fuel cell which powers an electric motor. The only exhaust is pure water.
Hydrogen is pumped from a nozzle like a conventional gasoline pump. The hydrogen is ionized by a microwave and pulled into the CDs. The whole process takes only a few minutes and is equivalent to popping a few bags of popcorn in the microwave. The hydrogen can be generated with water and electricity from windmills or solar cells.
A laser hydride powered fuel cell car is less expensive to build than one with a gasoline engine or battery. Today the cost of hydrogen gas is slightly more than gasoline, but with scaled production, it will soon cost less per fill-up.
The cost to bring the prototype to market requires an investment. Plasma Kinetics is seeking partners to assist with completion of a vehicle ready prototype in late 2010. We may see vehicles on the road as early as 2015.
Plasma Kinetics has come up with a novel way to store hydrogen for cars that can reduce the weight of the storage tanks by as much as 400 lbs as compared to a conventional automobile and 500 lbs as compared to a Tesla Roadster.
The novel approach is to use Laser hydride CD storage. What this means is that a hydrogen car owner will refuel their vehicle at a regular hydrogen fueling station. The compressed hydrogen fuel will flow into the car and microwaves will ionize the H2 onto CD, similar to what we would put into a CD player in which to listen to music.
And much like the process of listening to music, the device would use a laser to release the hydrogen on demand from the magnesium CD as the car needs it for fuel. The CD’s would be stacked in a series and could provide a range of over 300 miles for the average hydrogen fuel cell car.
Plasma Kinetics is currently displaying their laser hydride H2 storage device at the U. S. Department of Energy’s Arpa-e Summit, which was developed to showcase leading edge and breakthrough clean energy technology. Plasma Kinetics is currently looking for investors to bring their product to the next level of development.
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