Rowan University scientists produce energy from novel form of hydrogen using fuel that can be regenerated by applying heat.BlackLight Power Inc., a Cranbury-based developer of a potential new energy source through hydrogen chemistry, said Wednesday independent research at Rowan University, in Glassboro, offers some validation of the company’s efforts.
BlackLight’s process uses hydrogen in a chemical interaction that the company said can replace fossil and nuclear fuels in power plants. The company said Rowan scientists using BlackLight’s solid-fuel chemistry produced energy greater than that of combustion.
“This is the third time in human history there’s been a discovery of a new primary energy source,” said Randell Mills, BlackLight chief executive.
Mills said fuel can be supplied by extracting hydrogen from water. The hydrogen reacts with a chemical catalyst to produce heat energy and a hydrino, a new form of stable hydrogen. The thermal energy can be converted into electricity.
While solar power and wind farms offer alternative power, Mills said they are not primary energy sources. “They don’t create energy, they harness what’s already there,” he said.
The Rowan team tested the process over the past three months using compounds purchased from commercial vendors. “They’ve isolated a new form of hydrogen chemical product from those reactions,” Mills said; the energy source can be reproduced by following the process using the chemicals.
Mills said BlackLight’s process was developed from the theory that hydrogen can have new, high-power energy states using chemical catalysts. “This is a fuel that can replace fire,” he said.
He said BlackLight solved the basic phenomenon and advanced the process to a point for commercial use. “We can use it in small power-generation devices up to central power generation,” Mills said. With some engineering, the fuel can be melded with existing equipment to provide energy at competitive capital costs compared with solar, nuclear or coal power.
“It’s nonpolluting and doesn’t make greenhouse gases,” he said. “This could be the only energy source the world would ultimately need.”
Mills said BlackLight now is developing prototypes with engineers to eventually produce electrical power using the process.
E-mail João-Pierre Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org