Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Making Hydrogen from Magnesium and Water

H/T Instapundit:

There is an article on Ecotality about using elemental magnesium and water to make hydrogen.

This is technology right up my alley as someone who works in the chemical industry with magnesium. As the comment section states quite clearly, first you have to mine the magnesium, refine it and then reduce it back to elemental magnesium so it will react with water. All of those processes are extremely expensive. Plus, magnesium in this state is highly reactive, so much so that the transportation of magnesium is regulated has a hazardous material by the DOT (spontaneously combustible solid hazard class 4.2). Personally, I would not want a magnesium plus water reaction happening anywhere near me. You can tell me it is a controlled reaction, but you can forget about me every wanting to sit on top of vessel while that is happening.

Besides, who is going to be qualified to recharge the magnesium in the fuel cell? The transfer of highly reactive magnesium is a difficult operation. Who is going to take the magnesium oxide and dispose of it?

This idea is so profoundly unworkable, I won't even bother to look at the economics of turning magnesium and water into hydrogen.

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