This St. Patty’s Day, Share a Shout-out About Green CO2-Reducing Clean Fuel Technology

Going GreenTech Blog Thursday is an original monthly blog series that mixes serious science with humor and easily recognizable analogies for the less-than-scientifically inclined. The purpose of this blog series is to illustrate the potential of not-yet-commercialized technology and encourage excitement about the possibilities.

March 5, 2015

If you’re not green on March 17th, watch out for pinchers!

According to an American tradition, wearing green would render you invisible to leprechauns on the prowl to pinch anyone they could see. If you weren’t wearing green, you got pinched!

The greener you are, the safer you’ll be. The same holds true in the real world.

Let everyone know how green you are by sharing the news about a method to produce 99.99% pure hydrogen gas with reduced or eliminated CO2 emissions, a major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. The patented technology gives hydrogen a major boost to help beat fossil fuels as the leading source of energy. We’re still a long way from a full energy revolution, but regular ol’ oil will take a big hit when this new process for producing hydrogen with less energy, fewer expensive materials, and without CO2 emissions is commercialized.

Hydrogen is a promising alternative to current energy sources such as fossil fuels. Like most forms of alternative energy, hydrogen has a lot of potential once barriers such as the high energy and expensive material requirements of its conventional processing are overcome. With the new technology developed at UCF, hydrogen fuel made without the drawbacks of other methods gets ready to take on—and take down—fossil fuels.

Hydrogen is used as the fuel for the space program, to power fuel-cell driven cars, and to generate electricity because of its remarkably efficient conversion rate. It’s non-toxic and produces only water as a byproduct when used in fuel cells.

Hyrdogen must first be produced to be used as an ecologically clean fuel. The hydrogen producing method developed by UCF can use hydrocarbon feedstocks, including sub-quality natural gas, biogas, allowing it to take advantage of less-refined fuels like those containing sulfur, which are often less expensive. This means hydrogen can be produced at a lower cost compared to conventional methods. Less-expensively produced hydrogen can be sold for less, encouraging the development and growth of technologies that use this zero-emission fuel.

The process also creates a carbon value-added byproduct that can be used as a structural material, which can be sold to offset the cost of hydrogen production, making the fuel even more attractive to industry.

By using an inexpensive material, carbon generated from methane, as the catalyst, the process skips a regeneration step required by other methods. Since no oxidant is involved in the process, CO2 emissions are significantly reduced or eliminated.

This year, make sure you’re truly green on St. Patrick’s Day. Here at the UCF Office of Technology Transfer, we’re getting the word out about technologies like this and others that can change the world for the better when they become licensed and commercialized.

For more information about partnering with UCF to bring this technology to market, contact Raju Nagaiah.