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Aluminum-Based Fuels as Energy Carriers for Controllable Power and Hydrogen Generation—A Review


Metallic aluminum is widely used in propellants, energy-containing materials, and batteries due to its high energy density. In addition to burning in the air, aluminum can react with water to generate hydrogen. Aluminum is carbon-free and the solid-phase products can be recycled easily after the reaction. Micron aluminum powder is stable in the air and enables global trade. Aluminum metal is considered to be a viable recyclable carrier for clean energy. Based on the reaction characteristics of aluminum fuel in air and water, this work summarizes the energy conversion system of aluminum fuel, the combustion characteristics of aluminum, and the recycling of aluminum. The conversion path and application direction of electric energy and chemistry in the aluminum energy conversion system are described. The reaction properties of aluminum in the air are described, as well as the mode of activation and the effects of the aluminum-water reaction. In situ hydrogen production is achievable through the aluminum-water reaction. The development of low-carbon and energy-saving electrolytic aluminum technology is introduced. The work also analyzes the current difficulties and development directions for the large-scale application of aluminum fuel energy storage technology. The development of energy storage technology based on aluminum is conducive to transforming the energy structure.

Funding source: The authors acknowledge financial support from the Science and Technology Programs of China Huaneng Group (HNKJ21-H14).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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