Posts Tagged ‘Hydrogen Energy’

Dr. Roger Billings - Hydrogen Is in His Dreams

To Dr. Roger Billings, hydrogen is not just a good idea, it’s the only way to go. We enjoyed reading the coverage in Time Magazine about Dr. Billings’ long pursuit of the hydrogen economy – indeed his “dream” for a fuel system that does not pollute the air and does not drain the US economy.

Since high school when he converted a car to hydrogen after being told by professors that it could not be done, Dr. Billings has been a leading force in debunking and removing the roadblocks to hydrogen as a fuel. That progress took another giant step when his team converted the first regular passenger car to a hydrogen fuel cell. Running on a fuel cell means much higher efficiency levels and lower prices at refueling stations. Dr. Billings has been quoted in recent years as saying that for hydrogen to really catch on, it needs to not only be good for the environment but also good for people’s wallets. Fuel cells take hydrogen that much closer.

All this progress has attracted a great deal of acclaim from the industry and in the press, but it has also brought out the naysayers. Our research has uncovered a pattern of character defamation and blackball campaigns aimed at discrediting Dr. Billings and his work. But who would invest the time and expense to hire firms and writers to discredit one of the most storied scientists in the hydrogen energy field? The answer may lie buried in the ground where billions of dollars in oil assets can still be found.

Recent developments seem to be causing even long time oil investors to look elsewhere for energy solutions and hydrogen is solution being lauded in more and more unlikely camps. Perhaps the time has come when the opposition to this proven platform will finally drop.

Obstacles remain for hydrogen to become THE energy medium of choice in America, not the least of which would be a viable way to provide a complete network of refueling stations everywhere they would be needed. Here’s hoping that Dr. Billings keeps dreaming the dream and finding the solutions, no matter what the naysayers say.

Hydrogen Purification and Storage Patent by Dr. Roger E. Billings

Filed in May 4, 1976, this patent covers an invention designed to provide a simple, inexpensive and efficient system for purifying and storing hydrogen wherein little hydrogen is wasted during the process of storing the hydrogen.

The diagram shows a hydrogen purification system in which a mixture of hydrogen and impurities is applied to a container holding hydride forming material capable of adsorbing hydrogen and impurities, of releasing hydrogen at one temperature and pressure, and of releasing the impurities at another temperature and pressure. After hydrogen and impurities are adsorbed by the hydride forming material in the container, the temperature and pressure in the container are controlled to enable release of the hydrogen from the material but to prevent release of at least certain of the impurities.

The released hydrogen is then delivered to a utilization unit such as a second container or hydrogen fueled engine. The hydrogen delivered to the utilization unit is substantially purged of certain unwanted impurities.

Hydride fuel systems developed by Roger Billings

The diagram above comes from Patent # US4016836, titled “Hydride fuel systems”, filed September 8, 1975. The patent covers supplying hydrogen gas to a combustion unit which includes a mixing unit for mixing hydrogen gas with air for introduction into the combustion unit, and an exhaust manifold for carrying exhaust gases from the combustion unit to heat the hydride material in the container and cause the hydride material to release hydrogen gas.

There is a old documentary video about this system published on this Roger Billings hydrogen technology page that is very illustrative of the advantages of hydrides (see last video link titled “Metal Hydrides”). It includes a tests showing charged hydride tanks in a fire and being shot with a military rifle.

The illustrations of Roger Billings’ 1991 fuel cell car show a similar system used for the hydrogen storage. This patent may give clues about the implementation.