Saturday, January 19, 2013

Eureka! ( I found it!)

A patented process to separate aluminum hydroxide from potassium hydroxide can close the loop in a hydrogen generation system for fuel cells.  [ fourth of a series studying the Apollo Electric Car]

The last part closed with the problem of removing the aluminum hydroxide from the potassium hydroxide.  The aluminum hydroxide is formed when pure aluminum is dropped into a potassium hydroxide solution in order to generate hydrogen for fuel cells.  The goal is to regenerate the aluminum again so that the system can be a closed loop--- no additional inputs needed besides water and energy.  Water for the generation of hydrogen, and energy for the regeneration of aluminum.

A google search yielded the pdf of an invention which can do this very thing.  Here's what I was looking for:

The present invention is particularly applicable to the
removal of an aluminum hydroxide precipitate from a
potasssium hydroxide electrolyte
by agglomerating said
precipitate onto the surface of a cartridge filter, remov-
ing said agglomerated particles from the surface of said
cartridge filter, and allowing said agglomerated parti-
cles to settle in said electrolyte. The average particle
size of the aluminum hydroxide particles which precipi-
tate from a potassium hydroxide electrolyte is in the
range of about 0.5 to about 20 microns. Such particles
settle in the electrolyte too slowly for efficient separa-
tion by settling. By agglomerating the particles
using a cartridge filter, the rate of settling is increased to
the extent that separation by settling can be used.

This invention appears to have been granted in 1991.  I presume that it has resulted in products that one can easily obtain and put to use in a closed loop system.

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