Thursday, May 05, 2011

Portable drinking water and power

An unusual alloy could provide a method of producing both power and potable water from contaminated fresh or salt water. It's made of aluminum, tin, gallium, and indium. Indium is extracted from zinc ores and gallium is extracted from bauxite, an aluminum ore. No specific new mining is needed for them. Indium is 3 times more prevalent in the Earth's crust than silver. Basically, when the alloy is immersed in water, spontaneous hydrolysis occurs. A power unit would include a reactor and a fuel cell. Poor water in one end and hydrogen gets channeled to the fuel cell which produces power and potable water. Over time the alloy converts to aluminum hydroxide which is non-toxic and can be recycled.

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