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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/F05890X/1
Title A Feasibility Study Of A Silicon Enabled Hydrogen Fuel Economy
Status Completed
Energy Categories Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen production) 50%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen storage) 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor J Foord
No email address given
Oxford Chemistry
University of Oxford
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2008
End Date 30 September 2009
Duration 18 months
Total Grant Value £324,398
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region South East
Programme Energy Multidisciplinary Applications, Energy Research Capacity
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor J Foord , Oxford Chemistry, University of Oxford (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Professor P Edwards , Oxford Chemistry, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Dr M Jones , ISIS Pulsed Neutron & Muon Source, STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council) (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract In the present approach to global energy consumption, a large dependence is placed on the use of fossil fuels, which upon combustion release the so-called greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Although changes in energy usage patterns, such as increased exploitation of nuclear, solar and wind power for electricity generation could reduce this problem, there is considerable interest in the development of a hydrogen-based energy economy, based on the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, which yields large amounts of energy and produces nothing more harmful than water as the reaction product. It has been estimated that the hydrogen economy market will grow into the trillion dollar regime within the next 20 years.Hydrogen can be utilized in electrical power-generation systems, most notably in fuel cells for both vehicular transportation and distributed electricity generation, but a crucial aspect will be to develop systems for the "on-board' storage of hydrogen atpoint of use, if the hydrogen economy is to be realised. Unlike petrol which exists in liquid form, hydrogen is a potentially dangerous and explosive gas, so the large scale distribution and storage of hydrogen is fraught with problems.The present project is a feasibility study of a novel concept to avoid this hydrogen distribution problem. Instead, nanopowdered silicon will be produced, by the reduction of silica ("sand"), one of the most abundant compounds in the earth's accessible crust, using sustainable energy sources, and distributed where required. A spontaneous reaction between the nanosilicon and water at point of need, will then generate hydrogen on demand. Essentially water is being used as a so-called "hydrogen storage compound". The only reaction by-product is silica ("sand") which is easily disposed of or recycled
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/02/08