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The Problem:  Hydrogen Is Difficult To Store


Liquid storage of hydrogen at -435 Fahrenheit is difficult to achieve and maintain. Consider that 1 gallon of Liquid Hydrogen weighs .583 lbs and 1 gallon of gasoline, by comparison, weighs 7.0 lbs. 4 gallons of liquid hydrogen are needed to produce the same power as 1 gallon of gasoline! Consider the Space Shuttle and its huge tank of liquid hydrogen. A tank of petroleum based fuel would be much smaller, yet the critical issue is not volume but mass for NASA. Hydrogen stores 3 times the energy of jet fuel by mass. Thus, it is the fuel of choice for NASA.
Liquid hydrogen is a good choice for shuttle missions for another important reason: The bulk of the Hydrogen can be loaded directly before take-off and consumed within a short time. Cryogenic storage works well for space applications, it is not well suited for civilian applications. The 4 to 1 volume ratio of liquid hydrogen to gasoline is only part of the problem. The support equipment to maintain a tank of hydrogen at nearly absolute zero is very expensive and requires an outside energy source, and/or you need to continually allow the hydrogen to vent. Even with some of the best cryogenic tanks built it would only take a few days before a large percentage of the hydrogen would evaporate. The hydrogen venting concerns are also a problem for civilian applications considering that many undercover parking areas and garages are nearly air tight, it may be harder for the vented hydrogen to escape--leading to a potential explosion.
The proposed liquid hydrogen infrastructure has many problems as well. Consider that a standard gasoline station needs only a couple of steel tanks, some mechanical pumps, credit card readers and they are open for business. A liquid hydrogen fueling station, on the other hand, needs expensive and energy intensive support equipment to achieve or maintain cryogenic temperatures. The potential failure of cryogenic support equipment at a LH2 refueling station could lead to a potentially dangerous expansion of gaseous hydrogen.

Compressed Hydrogen Storage

The "State of the Art" hydrogen tanks (composite wound over HDPE) are compressed to 3000 psi. (See EDO fiber science in Canada) This is 204 times the atmospheric pressure on earth. Some of the sample cars funded in part by Xerox and in use around Los Angeles hold around 8 cubic feet. Ballard systems plans (or has installed already) buses in Los Angeles and Chicago. The compressed tanks on top of the buses hold considerably more hydrogen than those used for vehicles.
Consider the potential energy involved in even the smaller 8 cubic foot tanks of hydrogen for use in vehicles: Roughly 25 million foot-pounds of force is stored as potential energy in the gas pressure alone (ignore entirely, for a moment, the combustion power of the hydrogen). This force, if somehow directed entirely at a 1 pound object, could propel the object 25 million feet (or 4734 miles) away from the earth. It would also be sufficient to toss a 2000 pound car more than 2 miles high. Much work is being done to insure that the tanks can never break, crack, split, or become punctured. Unfortunately, in the real world, anything that can go wrong...will.
Currently, it takes approximately 15 KWH to force 1632 cubic feet of hydrogen into an 8 cubic foot tank. This represents 10% of the entire energy available in the hydrogen. A high pressure hydrogen refueling infrastructure would consume hundreds of mega watts of electrical energy if used on a large scale. Unfortunately, a bulky 8 cubic foot composite tank (roughly the size of a 100 gallon gasoline tank) even at 3000 psi can store a maximum of 8.4 pounds of Hydrogen. A mere 3.6 gallons of gasoline would store the same power.

Metal Hydride Storage

Many metals and metal alloys are known to absorb hydrogen. The current promising contenders are TiFe, Mg2Ni and LaNi5 (W.E. Wallace). Consider a metal hydride storage tank for use in a passenger vehicle (see Mazda, Ballard, Siemens, Daimler-Benz, and BMW). Metal hydride storage eliminates the need for cryogenics and many metal hydrides store hydrogen at ambient pressure, eliminating the dangers of high pressure hydrogen storage. Metal hydrides, however, are heavy and expensive...priced out any lanthanum, nickel, or titanium lately? In addition, metal hydrides have cyclic effects as the hydrogen is repeatedly absorbed into the lattice structure and then urged back out. They tend to become brittle and less responsive over time. Refueling a block of Lanthanum Nickel hydride is not a quick process that can take place while you grab a soda and some potato chips. Many hydrides require hours to fully charge up.
Another fundamental problem exists which is of a thermodynamic nature: Namely, all reverse hydriding reactions are endothermic. Unfortunately, this means that you always need to pump energy INTO a hydride to get the hydrogen back out. In many cases this energy represents a large share of the hydrogen energy available. Usually the energy is pumped into the hydride as heat. Once the hydride is heated to a particular temperature (which can change depending upon the number of cycles it has seen), the hydrogen is released. Some developers have proposed using the waste heat from the combustion engine to heat up the block of hydride to release hydrogen which appears to be a workable situation. The problem still exists however, that upon start up the engine and the hydride are both cold. This means that an auxiliary (battery powered?) heater is needed or a separate gaseous hydrogen tank has to be added. Although these options are technically viable, they add to overall system cost and complexity.
Safety conditions are not only a concern with a hydride storage tank, but certain problems may be inevitable. Consider that during a fire, mechanical failure, runaway condition, or malfunction of auxiliary heaters, the metal hydride block is allowed to heat to the hydrogen release temperature or beyond. Any number of conditions would then cause a large majority, if not ALL, of the stored hydrogen to be released at once. Consider that an average passenger vehicle needs to carry 12,240 gallons of H2 at STP for a range of even 200 miles. Consider that all of this hydrogen could be released at once from a metal hydride system during a runaway condition!
Rare-earth metal hydrides are just that...rare! Lanthanum and other hydride materials exists in the earth's crust in the parts per million range. To produce hundreds of pounds of the metal for millions of vehicles would require a mining effort to rival that of the petroleum industry.
Acceptable hydrogen charge-up times may also be theoretically out of reach. The internal lattice structure of a metal requires a set amount of time to absorb hydrogen. The density changes along with the magnetic properties, physical properties, and internal crystalline structure. There are some things that even Scotty from the Star Trek crew just simply cannot change!

The Solution: Powerballs

Powerballs are small solid balls or pellets of sodium hydride that are coated with a waterproof plastic coating or skin. Powerballs are stored directly in water. They can remain in water for months with little or no change to the coatings. As soon as a Powerball is cut in half under water the sodium hydride inside can react with the water to produce hydrogen.

NaH + H2O = NaOH + H2

The sodium hydride/water reaction is very exothermic and fast. A solid sodium hydride ball (with a 1 inch diameter), when cut in half under water, will react to completion within 10 seconds. Sodium hydride Powerballs react with water to release hydrogen on demand.

How Much Energy Is Stored In 1 Gallon Of Powerballs?

A gallon container, filled with powerballs will only be about 65% by volume NaH. The remaining volume will be made up of coating material and space between the pellets (water can be stored in the space between individual powerballs, also).

Thus, 1 gallon of sodium hydride powerballs is 65% X 3.8 Liters = 2470 cubic centimeters of NaH, or 3448 grams of NaH (NaH density = 1.396 g/cm^3, Merck Index). 1 gram of H2 is produced for each 12 grams of NaH that react with water.

Thus, 1 gallon of NaH powerballs (65% by volume NaH) when reacted with water produces:

287.3 grams of hydrogen
11. 2 KWH (assuming 100% conversion efficiency for H2 +.5 02 -> H2O)
38,645 BTU
3195.8 Liters of Hydrogen (at sea level, and room temperature)
841 gallons of Hydrogen (at sea level, and room temperature)

For comparison:

1 gallon of liquid hydrogen:
778 gallons of Hydrogen (at sea level, and room temperature)

1 gallon of methanol:
342 grams H2 = 1001 gallons Hydrogen (at sea level, and room temperature)

Many assumptions have to be made when comparing various hydrogen storage methods. For instance, from a strictly 'paper study', methanol appears to store more hydrogen by volume than does a gallon of sodium hydride powerballs. However, in order to get the hydrogen out of the methanol, a high temperature reformer system is needed. This reforming process is endothermic, meaning that you have to pump energy into methanol to get the hydrogen out. If this energy comes from burning the methanol, then this portion of the methanol is no longer available for hydrogen production. These considerations reduce the effective hydrogen storage density of methanol. In addition, the reformer itself must be included in the energy density calculations because without it, you just have methanol, not hydrogen. This consideration lowers the hydrogen storage density of methanol even further.

By stark contrast to a methanol based hydrogen storage system, when sodium hydride powerballs are reacted with water, there is an exothermic reaction. Thus, no additional fuel is needed to drive the NaH + H2O -> NaOH + H2 reaction.

Consider the following 2 reactions taking place on a powerball/fuel cell car of the future:

NaH + H2O -> NaOH + H2 (powerball reaction)
H2 +.502 -> H2O (fuel cell reaction)
NaH +.502 -> NaOH (overall)

These reactions suggest that water does not really need to be considered in energy density calculations for powerballs. Except for a small amount of water needed to start the process (stored between individual powerballs), water is available for the reaction as the waste product from the fuel cell.

In addition, although NaOH needs to be stored on the vehicle as a product of the reaction, its density is 2.130 g/cm^3. Considering that 1 gallon of NaH is 3448 grams of NaH or 143.7 moles. Thus, 143.7 moles or 5746.7 grams of NaOH will be produced as a product of the reaction. Thus, only 2.7 liters are required for NaOH storage or .7 gallons. So, with proper engineering, the NaOH product can easily be stored in the original gallon of space originally occupied by the NaH powerballs.

So, the original gallon of powerballs truly produces nearly 841 gallons of hydrogen even when the overall system is included in the energy density calculations.

When compared to alternative routes such as methanol reforming, liquid hydrogen or compressed hydrogen the powerball system is quite attractive because of its relative simplicity. Complicated reformers, as in the case of methanol, are not required. Energy to drive the reaction, as is the case with methanol, is not necessary. Cryogenic tanks or bleed-off losses, as is the case with liquid hydrogen, do not need to be considered in hydrogen storage calculations for powerballs. Evaporative emissions and fuel losses, as is the case with methanol, also do not need to be considered for powerball hydrogen storage calculations. In addition, water from the fuel cell can be used in the reaction, and the waste NaOH can be stored in the same space originally used by the powerballs.

Additionally, powerballs can be produced from other hydrides which would produce exceptionally large amounts of hydrogen from a very small space but at a higher cost; Consider a gallon of LiA1H4 for instance. When reacted with water, 1 gallon of LiA1H4 powerballs (net LiA1H4) would produce 1600 grams of hydrogen or 4683.6 gallons of hydrogen (at STP). LiA1H4 + 2H2O -> LiA1O2 + 4 H2 (8 g H2 per 38 g LiA1H4 @ 2. 0 g/cm^3). By comparison, to achieve this storage density with compressed hydrogen would require the hydrogen to be compressed to 4683.6 atmospheres or 68,848 psi!

Is A Powerball/Water Tank Safe?

A Powerball/Water tank does not have to be kept to near absolute zero. Large compressors are not needed for refueling. In fact, to refuel a Powerball/Water tank all that needs to be done is, 1) remove waste hydroxide and skins, 2)pour in water, 3)dump in Powerballs, and the system is refueled ready for use. If a Powerball/Water tank is cut, ripped, or severely damaged, all that happens is water and spheres spill out. You get the crack fixed or buy a new tank, refill with spheres and water and all is well again. (A far different scenario than that of a compressed hydrogen tank) There is very little pure hydrogen in a Powerball/Water tank. Hydrogen is produced from the water incrementally, and on demand. You never have to worry about a large hydrogen explosion because no more than about one-tenth of an ounce of pure hydrogen is ever produced in advance at any one time. The hydrogen from a Powerball/Water tank is consumed directly after it is produced by either a fuel cell or a combustion engine (see Moller International in Davis or Bill Kaiser at AMD in Highland, California for hydrogen combustion information).
A Powerball/Water tank can hold a few hundred or a few million spheres, depending on the size of the tank. If the skin of one individual Powerball is removed, and the sodium hydride inside the skin reacts with the water around it, no problems are created for the adjacent spheres. They remain intact and content. The hydrogen produced by the one reacting sphere bubbles to the top and is used normally. In an extreme case where, for some unknown reason, the coatings of many spheres are somehow removed and enough hydrogen is produced to increase the pressure beyond what the tank is rated for (around 200 psi) then some hydrogen would be released through a pressure relief valve at the top of the tank.

How Does It Work?

A Powerball/Water tank is filled with water and Powerballs. A space at the top of the tank (above the water) stores a small quantity of gaseous hydrogen at low pressure. A mechanism inside the tank senses the internal hydrogen pressure. Assuming that there are no leaks, and assuming that the hydrogen is not being used, then the hydrogen pressure remains the same and the mechanism does nothing. A Powerball/Water tank filled with spheres and water can remain in this condition for as long as required. Various coatings could be used on the Powerballs to give the system a shelf life of decades!
During operation, as hydrogen is used from the tank, the mechanism senses the pressure drop. Once the pressure drops below a set level, the mechanism takes a single Powerball from the group of Powerballs and removes the skin, allowing it to react with the water in the tank. Thus, the hydrogen bubbles to the surface of the water and the hydrogen pressure inside the tank increases to former levels. Consider a Powerball of 1.2 inches in diameter: (currently the only size Powerball manufactured in the known universe). A Powerball of this size will produce 17.5 liter (1068 in3) of hydrogen. Assuming that the volume of stored hydrogen in the tank is 141 cubic inches, then the produced hydrogen increases this pressure by 111 psi.
Experiments with actual Powerball/Water tanks at Powerball Industries have shown that these pressures are achieved (within a few percent) each time a Powerball is reacted. As hydrogen is used from the Powerball/Water tank, the mechanism continues to remove balls from the group and react them one at a time to produce additional hydrogen. The process can continue until the last Powerball in the tank is reacted.
The leftover polyethylene skins (they look a bit like orange peelings) are collected in the Powerball/Water tank during operation. When all the Powerballs have been used up, the NaOH waste material must be properly removed along with the skins. After a Powerball/water tank is emptied, it can immediately be refilled with water and new Powerballs. The tank is ready once again to supply clean hydrogen for use in a piston engine, rotary engine, power plant, or to a fuel cell equipped car.

So Why Isn't Sodium Hydride Used To Produce Hydrogen Now?

The sodium-water reaction was discovered before the term gasoline combustion engine even existed. It is one of the most well known reactions in science. However, a large container of liquid sodium would be extremely unsafe and unstable as a method for hydrogen production in a portable application such as a vehicle. As Bevan Ott (Dept of Chemistry, BYU) once stated to me in 1989 during the formative stages of this research... "I have worked with sodium metal before, and I will NEVER ride in a vehicle with a tank full of liquid sodium!" And for a very good reason: The problem with the sodium-water reaction is that the possibility exists for unsafe conditions to occur. If unsafe conditions occur, the entire car could be doomed...along with poor old Bevan Ott. It could react almost all at once with water to produce lots of fire, heat, smoke and an explosion.
The sodium/sulfur vehicles developed by Ford Motor Company have had some problems along this very line including an unfortunate sodium fire in a sodium/sulfur battery powered van parked in the garage of the formerly nice home of one of the battery developers.
Lockheed Corporation invested millions in the sodium-water and lithium-water battery more than 20 years ago (1974-1978) only to abandon the project after blowing the roof off their main battery testing facility. The Davis County fire department was instructed to stand by...squirting high pressure water on burning molten lithium metal did not seem appropriate or constructive.
Thus, it has been for these examples and many others that sodium and all other alkali metals have been labeled by many in the scientific community as useless as an energy storage medium for nearly a century. After the tiger bites you enough times you lose interest in trying to tame it!

Powerballs Could Change Everything!

A chain reaction is simply not possible with Powerballs in water. A Power Ball can react without disturbing or causing its neighboring balls to react. Hence, sodium hydride cut up into small balls and coated with a waterproof skin is now almost an entirely new element. The rules change. For instance, all alkali metals are currently shipped with the label--DANGEROUS WHEN WET or KEEP AWAY FROM WATER.
These warnings could be ignored entirely with Powerballs. In fact, for many reasons, Powerballs would be safer if stored directly in water. For instance, a Powerball/Water tank in a fire would be safer in many ways than a gasoline tank. We all know what happens to a gasoline tank in a fire. Consider that a Powerball/Water tank would heat up to the boiling point of water and then no further. Most conceivable Powerball coating could easily withstand the temperature of boiling water. The 8 or so gallons of water in the tank would heat to the boiling point and then stay at that temperature until the water had evaporated from the tank. Only then (and considering that even a 1000 degree F fire would still take some time to boil off 8 gallons of water) could the Powerballs catch fire and burn. And even in this extreme case, the sodium oxide fumes produced from the burning sodium hydride would be no more dangerous than the aluminum oxide fumes caused by burning aluminum wheel rims.
A more likely scenario is that the fire is extinguished within 10 minutes or so. An important consideration is that the fire could be extinguished by conventional means including water and carbon dioxide. Consider that neither water nor polyethylene reacts with conventional extinguishing propellant. Another consideration is that if all vehicles were powered by Powerballs, it would be fairly tricky to start a fire in the first place, even during a major collision. A fuel cell operating at nearly room temperature is hardly capable of starting a fire. There are no spark plugs. No gasoline tanks can break open. No hot exhaust ports. About the only thing left even capable of starting a fire would be the cigarette lighter. Incidentally, if the cigarette companies all divest into the manufacture of Powerballs and quit hawking their foul sticks to innocent children, then we would have next to no chance for vehicle fires. No offense Philip Morris--p.s. what about that divesting suggestion anyway?

What Else Could Powerballs Be Made From?

Powerballs could be made from many different alkali metals and alkaline earth metals and their hydrides. Don't confuse an alkali or alkaline earth hydride with a rare earth hydride. The method of hydrogen retrieval is vastly different. Rare-earths are heated and the hydrogen is released. Alkali or alkaline earth metal hydrides are simply reacted with water to release hydrogen.

Here is a quick list of several alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, some of their hydrides and mixed metal hydrides which could be used to generate hydrogen upon reaction with water:

Alkali Metals Alkaline Earth Metal
Sodium Calcium
Alkali Hydrides Alkaline Earth Hydride
Sodium Hydride Calcium Hydride
Lithium Hydride
Mixed Metal Hydrides
Lithium Aluminum Hydride
Sodium Aluminum Hydride

And a quick list of potential coating materials (skin):

Polyethylene (HD, LD, or UHMW)

How Are Powerballs Made?

The manufacturing of Powerballs would depend on the type of reactant material and the type of skin desired. For instance, lithium aluminum hydride can store more than twice as much hydrogen than sodium for the same volume. PEEK can withstand much higher temperatures than polyethylene. The process of encapsulation of reactant in skin will change from one material to another.
A number of pelletizing processes are available. Sodium, for instance, with a melting point of approximately 100 C can be easily melted and allowed to drip from the top of a column of inert gas. As the sodium falls it automatically forms into balls which could then be coated with polyethylene, for instance. Sodium hydride, on the other hand, is a white powder and has NO melting point at any temperature at atmospheric pressure. ( It decomposes into hydrogen and liquid sodium at 425 C) Sodium hydride could be formed into balls by various stamping methods. The balls could then be powder coated. An injection molding process could also be developed to produce the sphere and coat it all in one clean step.

Hydroxide Handling Issues

The sodium hydroxide left over in a Powerball/Water tank is the waste product of the sodium-water reaction. However, most professionals in the hydroxide industry would chuckle at the term waste when used to describe sodium hydroxide. NaOH is the 9th most commonly produced chemical in the U.S. Wyandotte (a supplier of NaOH boasts in a pamphlet that just one of their NaOH cells uses more electricity in one day than a city of 40,000 families would use in a month. And in fact, the manufacture of sodium hydroxide consumes 1 out of every 100 Mega watts produced in the U.S. by any method. Sodium hydroxide is used in the manufacture of paper, paint, textiles, cloth, plastic, petroleum, and cleaning solutions. Interestingly, a huge percentage of all hydrogen produced globally is simply a byproduct of the sodium hydroxide industry. (See Praxair, Air products etc.) Modern day society would come to a screeching halt without sodium hydroxide. It is used somewhere along the line in the manufacture of virtually every conceivable product. Interestingly, it could be produced as a waste product by millions of Powerball vehicles and recycled for use in industry or used to produce more Powerballs.

Powerball Refueling Station

A Powerball fuel station of the future would need three separate tanks. One tank would be filled with Powerballs and water. The second with sodium hydroxide and the third would be used to store the Powerball coating material.
Consider an individual named Agi who drives a Powerball-hydrogen car of the future. Agi stops at the local Powerball equipped 7-11 for a snack and swipes her card for a quick refill of Powerballs. Consider that Agi's fuel tank has a few remaining Powerball and the balance is sodium hydroxide (let's say 6 gallons). Agi inserts a nozzle into the refuel cap of her car, presses the flashing start button and goes inside to get some potato chips. Meanwhile, several important things happen: First, no hydrocarbon fumes are coming from Agi's open fuel tank (there are none). Second, the fuel station pumps the 6 gallons of NaOH into an underground hydroxide tank on site. It simultaneously pumps the leftover polyethylene coating material from Agi's tank into the proper storage tank. It then pumps fresh water and new coated Powerballs into Agi's tank and prints out a receipt. Agi grumbles about the high cost of potato chips and drives away. She is happy once again as she drives into her world where the air is crisp and clean and easy to breathe.
The fuel station is serviced periodically by trucks which pick up sodium hydroxide and polyethylene. These trucks deliver the caustic and polyethylene to central plants that are already in existence. The hydroxide plants clean up and ship the hydroxide to customers as usual. The polyethylene plants recycle the polyethylene and return it to industry ( perhaps to be re-used in the manufacturing of more Powerballs).
A central plant could also be designed to accept both the hydroxide and polyethylene. A reliable supply of electricity would be the only major raw material needed for the plant to recycle the NaOH into NaH (sodium hydride) and oxygen. The oxygen could be sold or (heaven forbid) returned to the atmosphere for people to breathe. The sodium hydride could be coated with polyethylene and returned to the fuel station, once again ready for Agi to use.
Still another scenario exists in which Agi installs a hydroxide-to-Power Ball converter in her garage. Solar panels on Agi's house could provide energy to remove the oxygen from the NaOH. The system could produce coated sodium hydride Powerballs for Agi's car without using anything other than the sun! It would be a completely recyclable system and Agi would never need to buy Powerballs again!

How Much Does This Hydrogen Cost?

Let's consider 1 gallon of NaH (this is 221 moles of NaH).

Reaction: NaH + H2O = NaOH + H2 (hydrolysis reaction).

So, 1 gallon of NaH produces 221 moles of hydrogen. This is 442 grams of hydrogen, or .974 pounds of hydrogen.

Currently, hydrogen costs between $2.00 to $14.00 per pound depending upon where you purchase it, and how much you purchase. Typically, in the US, a bottle filled with compressed hydrogen will cost you anywhere from $8.00 to $12.00 per pound. But, let's assume that the hydrogen produced from the NaH/water reaction is only worth $5. 00 per pound just to be conservative.

So, the 1 gallon of NaH reacting with water produces .974 pounds of hydrogen, or $4.87 worth of clean hydrogen gas.

How much does it cost to convert the NaOH back into the original gallon of NaH?

Let's first look at the thermodynamics:

NaOH = NaH + 1/2 O2 (98.5 kcal/mol)

1 gallon NaH = 221 moles of NaH

221 moles X 89.5 kcal/mol = 19,670 kcal = 78,051 BTU.

Natural gas energy costs about $1.50 to $2.00 per million BTU in the US on average to industrial users. So the cost of the heat energy required to produce 1 gallon of NaH from NaOH is:

78,051 BTU X  --------------  $0.156
                         1 million BTU

So, $4.87 of hydrogen (1997 prices) can be produced for only $0.156 of energy costs using natural gas. Other forms of heat energy, such as concentrated solar energy are available also. If solar energy is used to provide the heat energy required to produce NaH from NaOH, then the overall process is continuous and therefore, does not use up any non-renewable energy sources.

Additionally, a gallon of NaH in a fuel cell car would produce about the equivalent in power to a gallon of gasoline if used in a combustion engine car. So, perhaps it will be possible to refuel your car for $1.50 rather than $15.00 or $20.00!

Powerball Cars Are Better Than Gasoline Cars!

A fuel-cell car running with a smooth, efficient electric motor is inherently better than a gasoline combustion car. For starters, it is quieter. Acceleration rates for state of the art electric motors are better than their gasoline counterparts. There are far fewer moving parts--no pistons, crankshafts, seals, valves, carburetors or timing chains to wear out--no messy gasoline or oil to worry about. Fuel pumps, fuel filters, and exhaust pipes could become a thing of the past. No oil slicks on all the driveways and parking lots around town. And most importantly: zero emissions from hydrocarbon fuels.
A fuel-cell electric car powered by hydrogen made from Powerballs and water could very well be the answer to clean up the air and reduce our dependence of foreign oil. In addition, a Powerball-fuel cell car could provide options that are not possible with gasoline engines. Consider that momentum regeneration is usable in a fuel cell vehicle. Solar cells could also be used to supplement the hydrogen supply on board the car. Powerballs could be produced using hundreds of conceivable energy storage medium. For instance, consider an exercise bike that is connected to a small generator. While exercising it could be possible to produce enough Powerballs to get you to the neighborhood shopping center!

Who Invented Powerballs?

Powerball Industries (a non-profit-to-date company) originated the concept of Powerballs and has produced hundreds of Powerballs using various reactants and coatings. Powerball Industries holds the patent (pending) for the use of the balls and for the concept of the hydrogen generator and skin removal mechanism inside the Powerball/Water tank.


Although every effort was made to represent the facts accurately, this concept touches upon many areas of study and the technical literature in these areas is vast and growing rapidly. Some of the comments have been made with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, and except for the oil companies, I hope no one takes offense. Please write with any suggestions or comments that might help this technology flourish and grow to become a new energy storage medium for the world. If enough skilled chemists, physicists, politicians, ecologists, and businessmen come forward with a desire to make a can happen.

Powerball Industries
2095 West 2200 South
West Valley City, UT 84119

Phone: (801) 974-9120
Fax: (801) 972-5032


The previous is a concept paper only. The rough analysis describes an alternative to the petroleum energy path for automobiles. Powerball Industries is not pursuing this path from a business standpoint in any way. The concept is provided from a theoretical viewpoint only to stimulate thought on Powerball technology and its potential in real-world applications.