Earlier in the day, we talked about enlisting the help of bacteria to generate electricity – well, this time around, there might be an alternative method; that is, relying on a microreactor which is capable of transforming everyday fossil fuels including butane and propane into pure hydrogen that will see action in fuel cell batteries. The military will definitely be extremely interested in this since 80% of the weight of a soldier’s gear can be attributed to batteries. Chemical Engineering students at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey intend to lighten their load with development of the microreactor.

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Current methods require high temperatures and a vacuum in order to produce plasma required for the necessary chemical reaction, and there is also another problem to think about – that is, the hydrogen produced is extremely volatile, which makes it very dangerous and expensive to transport. On the battlefield, this is nothing short of explosive – since it makes soldiers prime explosive targets for enemy combatants. Good thing the Stevens team is confident thta their microreactor is able to overcome both production and storage problems, thanks to the utilization of low temperatures and atmospheric pressure, as well as producing hydrogen as required at that time.

More tests are required to guarantee the stability of such a microreactor, but if it can be massed produced on a safe scale, why not?

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