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 (caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, etc.) which dissolve in water, toxic and expensive metals (such as gallium, platinum, etc.), or by forcing the reaction by additional 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 which is capable of generating hydrogen very rapidly by hydrolysis reaction with water and 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 water containing liquid.

ARL has established a multi-step process to gauge the continuing interest of non-governmental 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 water or 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"

Phase 1 - Solicit Interest

Phase 1 will open on JUN 15, 2018. Companies may obtain technical information, samples, and speak with inventors for the purpose of technical due diligence. Phase 1 will determine the level of interest in this technology, the breadth of interested parties, and provide feedback to the Army on how best to structure Phase 2, as well as, inform ARL's evaluation of future Patent License Applications and supporting Commercialization Plans in order to grant an exclusive or non-exclusive license(s).

ARL is requesting interested parties create an "intent to license" memo that briefly discusses what kind of license they might pursue and how they plan to utilize the license in order to bring the technology to market. The Commercialization Plan can be used as a general outline of the information that is requested, but does not need to be provide in exhaustive detail, as it will be for the final plan. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory will review the submitted materials, conduct a limited down-select based on the level of interest and available sample material, and begin negotiations on the LPCRADA in order to provide samples on or around JUL 15, 2018.

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

  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.

In order to support a better understanding of the material, ARL will also host a series of webex's with the Principal Inventor and the ARL Technology Transfer Team. ARL will be having three information sessions with the Principal Investigator (PI). These session will be on Jul 10, 2018 at 10:00 AM, Jul 11, 2018 at 01:00 PM, and Jul 12, 2018 at 04:00 PM. The PI will briefly run through the ARL General Information Brief and answer questions in this public forum as time permits

Phase 1 Submission Requests

In summary, any interested company is requested to provide;

  1. registration on www.arl.army.mil/AlNanogalvanicPowder
  2. a company overview,
  3. an "intent to license," including thoughts, suggestions, and questions for Phase 2, and
  4. a signed organizational NDA (to receive just information), or
  5. a proposed LPCRADA (to begin the process to receive information and sample)

All packages must be sent electronically to;

Brian Metzger, brian.metzger@montana.edu, TechLink is an authorized DoD partnership intermediary

Army Review

The Army will prioritize and review all the submitted packages as they arrive. Given limited resources, only those parties deemed most viable will be selected to proceed.

Phase 2 - Request for Patent License Application

Phase 2 will begin on or about JUL 25, 2018. While Phase 2 will not officially close, on or around SEP 4, 2018, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory will evaluate the Patent License Applications that have been received to date and prepare to grant Patent License Agreement(s). If an exclusive license is granted no further licenses will be granted. Phase 2 will allow all interested parties to conduct an evaluation of the powder and work with TechLink to develop a 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. ARL will be having three information sessions with the Principal Investigator (PI). These session will be on AUG 14, 2018 @at 04:00 PM, AUG 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM, and AUG 16, 2018 at 01:00 PM. The PI will briefly run through the ARL General Information Brief and answer questions in this public forum as time permits.

The culmination of Phase 2 will be the review of all Patent License Application and supporting Commercialization Plan. In addition to the license(s), ARL could also engage with licensee(s) in a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to continue to mutually continue the development of the material

  1. Commercialization Plan - This is the core of the Patent License Application. The document describes who each applicant is, the parties history and current offerings. The plan describes financial background as well as any government status programs in which the company participates (SBA 8A, Women Owned, Minority Owned, etc.). The plan then should describe in detail how the technology is envisioned to be used, manufactured, marketed, sold (including projections). The plan should lay out the timeline to implement this plan as well as intermediary and long term sales and royalties projections.
  2. Patent License Application - This is the actual application template. Much of the information is duplicative in the Commercialization plan and reference in the Application to specific pages and sections in the Commercialization plan is acceptable for sections that require a longer explanation.

Phase 2 Submission Requirements

In order to be considered in the initial review of Patent License Application(s), the following information should be provided;

  1. Commercialization Plan and
  2. Patent License Application

By SEP 4, 2018, All packages must be sent electronically to;

Brian Metzger, brian.metzger@montana.edu, TechLink is an authorized DoD partnership intermediary

ADDRESSES: Direct inquires can be made to

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