A very common element forms the basis for a breakthrough portable power source. Philadelphia'sAlumiFuel Power Inc. has developed a portable power system based on the chemical reaction of aluminum powder and water, according to CEO David Cade.
Using proprietary technology to strip the oxides from aluminum particles, the hydrogen generated is five times the density of a lithium battery, says Cade. "Our particular focus is portable, mobile and remote applications. We do on site, on demand power." The Alumifuel container is prefilled with aluminum powder. "The canister can be stored for years," says Cade. "You don't get hydrogen until you get water." A perfect application of the new fuel source is for the U.S Navy, which will pilot the hydrogen battery to propel unmanned undersea vehicles. Alumifuel is partnering with Ingenium Technologies for the project.
Cade is also excited by PBIS-1000, Alumifuel-powered weather balloons created in partnership with Kaymont Weather Balloons.
While Alumifuel is still "under the radar screen," and taking on a 100 year-old battery industry, Cade looks to continuing partnerships with major players like Ingenium and Kaymont to get the word out about a power source that provides 5-10 times the power of a lithium battery, is in no danger of exploding, and does not rely upon overseas oil and gas supplies.
"No one has ever commercialized this technology," says Cade. "There have been patents for years, but they have all been laboratory curiosities." The early stage company, based at the University City Science Center, is currently valued at under $100,000 and is in late development, early production stage. Cade says his partner, Henry Fong, is currently out raising capital, and if Alumifuel is awarded government grants, Cade and Fong's company could see serious growth.
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