Aluminum Based Nanogalvanic Alloys for Hydrogen Generation

It has long been known that aluminum (Al) reacts with water to produce hydrogen (H2) gas and aluminum oxide via a hydrolysis reaction. Aluminum metal oxidizes when in contact with water, rapidly producing a passivating oxide layer which prevents the hydrolysis reaction (evolution of H2). Further, hydrolysis to evolve H2 can only occur if the native oxide layer is actively removed. This is usually achieved by adding hazardous corrosive compounds which dissolve in water (caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, etc.), toxic and expensive metals (such as gallium, platinum, etc.), or by forcing the reaction by the addition of external energy (electric current and/or superheated steam).

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has invented a novel nanogalvanic structured aluminum-based particulate material capable of generating hydrogen very rapidly by hydrolysis reaction with any liquid that contains water (e.g., naturally scavenged water, coffee, energy drink, urine, etc.) at room temperature without chemicals, catalysts, or externally supplied power. These patent pending powders produce hydrogen at a rate that currently is one of the fastest reported for Al and water reactions without the need of hazardous and costly materials or additional processes. The reaction results in the production of hydrogen and heat with only inert residual materials. ARL has demonstrated that hydrolysis will occur with virtually any liquid containing water.

ARL has established a multi-step process to gauge the continuing interest of non-government parties. The purpose of this effort is to allow for interested parties to evaluate the characteristics and performance of the Al-based alloy powder for hydrogen generation or other purposes via reaction of the powders with any liquid containing water. This evaluation will allow interested companies to have a more solid awareness of the materials' capabilities in support of the preparation of a Commercialization Plan and Patent License Application.

ARL has established a two stage process in order to move expeditiously to license USPTO PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION NO. 62/536,143 "Aluminum Based Nanogalvanic Alloys for Hydrogen Generation"

Way Forward

ARL has completed an initial advertisement and request for commercialization plans which ended on 4 Sep 2018. This process allowed companies to obtain technical information, samples, and speak with inventors for the purpose of technical due diligence. ARL continues to offer new companies a similar opportunity to learn about the material with an eventual goal of a Patent License Application and National/Worldwide Commercialization Plan that articulates each company's vision to develop existing and new markets, establish a strong marketing and sales structure, and ultimately bring this technology to bear in support of the Army and our National economy.

The following documents are available for review: General Information Brief, Draft Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), Draft Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP CRADA), Draft Commercialization Plan, and Patent License Application (PLA).

  1. ARL General Information Brief - This is provided for general interest and awareness as it outlines the general capabilities of the material.
  2. Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) - This document is typically not negotiable and will allow the receipt of the provisional patent application and additional information. Please review, update the sections in green with your contact information and proposed personnel to be involved, and have it signed by someone within the company that will bind the company to its terms.
  3. Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP CRADA) - This document is typically not negotiable and will allow the receipt of the provisional patent application, additional information and powder sample. Please review, updated the sections in green with your contact information and proposed tests to be conducted. ARL will then begin negotiations to finalize the document before securing mutual signatures.
  4. Commercialization Plan - This is a blank draft format for the final commercialization plan that will be due at the end of Phase 2. The inclusion of this template is to elicit thoughts and suggests on how the Army should structure Phase 2 in regard to issues of fields-of-use or exclusivity of a license. While this document is not required within Phase 1, the Army welcomes comments, suggestions, and questions that will create a more robust and useful Phase 2.
  5. Patent License Application - This is a blank draft format for the final patent license application that will be due at the end of Phase 2. The inclusion of this template is to elicit thoughts and suggests on how the Army should structure Phase 2 in regard to issues of fields-of-use or exclusivity of a license. While this document is not required within Phase 1, the Army welcomes comments, suggestions, and questions that will create a more robust and useful Phase 2.

Submission Requests

In summary, any interested company is requested to;

1. registration on www.arl.army.mil/AlNanogalvanicPowder

2. provide a company overview,

3a. submit either a signed organizational NDA (to receive just information), or

3b. an unsigned proposed LP-CRADA (to begin the process to receive information and sample)

All packages must be sent electronically to;
Brian Metzger with TechLink, an authorized DoD partnership intermediary

Brian Metzger
T: 406-994-7782
brian.metzger@montana.edu
TechLink
2310 University Way Technology Blvd.
Suite 2-2
Bozeman, MT 59715

 

Last Update / Reviewed: May 17, 2018