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 DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory 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. DEVCOM ARL has demonstrated that hydrolysis will occur with virtually any liquid containing water.

ARL is actively engaged in accepting patent license applications for the patent pending invention. Prior to submitting a patent license application, interested parties may request a sample (via an LP CRADA) in order to evaluate the characteristics and performance of the Al-based alloy powder for hydrogen generation.

DEVCOM ARL Patent Licensing Process

ARL is currently evaluating submitted patent license applications. However, ARL will continue accept new applications for fields of use not covered by the already submitted and accepted patent license applications.

Interested companies should start by reviewing the available background information below. Those interested in learning more about the invention should contact Dr. Brian Metzger of TechLink, (contact information below). If a company is interested in receiving a sample of the invented material, a Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP-CRADA) will be executed. After evaluation, an interested company may submit a patent license application and commercial plan if they wish they wish to enter into a licensing agreement for an available field of use. ARL will consider completed patent license applications as they are received.

The following documents are available for review:

Background Information

Sample Request Agreement

  • Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP CRADA) – This document is typically not negotiable and will allow for the receipt of the provisional patent application, additional information, and powder sample. Please review, and update 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 the signatures of both parties.

Patent License Application Documents

  • Patent License Application – This is the actual application template. Much of the information in the PLA is duplicative in and can be referenced from the Commercialization plan.
  • Commercialization Plan – This is the core of the Patent License Application. The document describes who each applicant is, and the party’s 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 should describe in detail how the technology is envisioned to be used, manufactured, marketed, and 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.

Submission Requests

In summary, any interested company is requested to:

  1. Register on
  2. Provide a company overview
  3. Submit a unsigned proposed LPCRADA (to begin the process to receive information and sample)
  4. Begin to prepare a patent license application and commercialization plan

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

Brian Metzger
T: 406-994-7782
2310 University Way Technology Blvd.
Suite 2-2
Bozeman, MT 59715