VIT professor gets US patent for hydrogen production method

A professor at the VIT University in Vellore has been awarded a process and technology patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for conceiving a system for the production,storage and dispensation of hydrogen from encapsulated metal hydride shells for running vehicles more efficiently.

Professor R Natarajan,general manager,Energy Centre, VIT University,received the patent certificate last week.
The patented technique is modelled on a twochamber /tank process in vehicles.When the hydrogen production from the first tank is stopped,the second tank starts automatically producing hydrogen and thus ensures continuous supply of hydrogen.A US company is using a similar concept but through a single-tank technique,which is complex, Natarajan said.duced by reacting sodium hydride with water.This is unlike the conventional process,where sodium hydride is heated to a high temperature and then decomposed to produce sodium and hydrogen.Also in this technique one mole of sodium hydride will give one mole of hydrogen,unlike the conventional process where two moles of sodium hydride is required to produce one mole of hydrogen, he explained.
Another advantage is that the hydrogen is produced at required rate and pressure only and hence ensures safety in the storage and transportation of hydrogen.Since metal hydride is encapsulated inside plastic balls even in case of accidents we dont expect any fire or explosion hazard, he said.
We understand that ISRO is working along with Tata Motors to develop and demonstrate a hydrogen fuel cell bus for which the fuel cell is imported from Canada.They can adopt the hydrogen dispensing system developed by us instead of importing and using the liquid hydrogen or high pressure hydrogen storage and dispensing system, he added.

Fuel for Future
Professor R Natarajan conceived a system for the production,storage and dispensation of hydrogen from encapsulated metal hydride shells This makes vehicles run more efficiently Technique is modelled on a two-chamber /tank process Under the patented technique,hydrogen can be produced by reacting sodium hydride with water Method ensures safety in the storage and transportation of hydrogen.

This article  has been extracted from “The Times of India” .

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