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Ben Pfannl

Powdered Metals. An Alternative Fuel Source?

Using metal powders in combustion engines could become a real alternative for the use of fossil fuels. Researchers at McGill University in Montréal, Canada have published their findings in the journal Applied Energy. The alternative energy is also good for the environment. The energy of the metal powder fuel produced zero carbon heat.

The lead author of the study, Professor Jeffrey Bergthorson, says that their is a need for this for this technology: “Technologies to generate clean electricity – primarily solar and wind power – are being developed rapidly; but we can’t use that electricity for many of the things that oil and gas are used for today, such as transportation and global energy trade.”

How exactly does it work?

“When burned, metal powders react with air to form stable, nontoxic solid-oxide products that can be collected relatively easily for recycling, unlike the CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels that escape into the atmosphere, state the researchers. Iron powder could be the primary candidate for this purpose, according to the study, as it is readily recyclable with well-established technologies and some novel techniques can avoid the carbon dioxide emissions associated with traditional iron production using coal.”- http://www.ipmd.net/news/003680.html

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The result in the lab are promising but there is still work to be done. The next step is to build a prototype and use it in the real world. Let’s see where this alternative fuel energy takes us in the future!