“Can aircraft help reduce the pollution rate and also help save energy?” this question is going to make you actually strain your gray cells. The answer is a “Yes,” as there are a few aerospace engineers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology who have created and patented a process that can produce hydrogen using normal or waste water and activated aluminum particles while on-board itself.
According to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology engineers, the hydrogen produced is directed to a fuel cell where the electrical energy is generated and further used to meet in-flight demands. This milestone can help reduce the pollution rate and also increase the electric aircraft production in order to replace the pneumatic and hydraulic systems that are currently been used. Though the production of the hydrogen is easy but still its storage, either in a liquid or gas forms, is difficult. The use of non-polluting Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells and an aluminum activation process is the best solution for overcoming the problem. The water that is available on-board can itself be used for carrying out the reaction. The activated aluminum powder is added to the water that enables a thermo-chemical reaction to take place. The aluminum particles have a highly protective oxide or hydroxide film coatings that are modified by the lithium-based activator scattered in between the aluminum bulk and further allow a spontaneous reaction between the water at room temperature and aluminum to take place.
In addition to the hydrogen production, there is a generation of a certain amount of heat as well, which can be further used to heat food or water, de-icing processes, and aircraft fuel heating before takeoff. The new process is already being used by the high-end aircraft manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing. This breakthrough will not only boost the hydrogen production and utilization rate but also meet the increasing energy demands of the flights and the airport runways.
More the efficient green aircraft productions are encouraged by the worldwide government, the faster will the electric energy needs be met. So let’s go the greener way to help curb the non-renewable power utilization for saving our Mother Earth.