October 6, 2022

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Getting energy from hydrogen without combustion.  Cutting-edge HERO technology could give new life to coal-fired power plants

Getting energy from hydrogen without combustion. Cutting-edge HERO technology could give new life to coal-fired power plants

How are existing coal-fired power plants being transformed into green, zero-emissions energy production companies? An Australian startup and the staff of the Star Science Lab come to their rescue.

secret catalyst

The Australians have patented a way to turn hydrogen into heat without burning it. It is possible thanks to the use of the so-called Hydrogen Energy Release Enhancer (HERO).

It is a special secret catalyst that converts hydrogen and oxygen into superheated steam, capable of driving a power plant turbine. – writes Bloomberg.

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This technology is revolutionary in that it does not require any special rebuilding of the facilities currently operating in coal-fired power plants. HERO heats hydrogen to about 700 °C, but does not burn it.

random discovery

The advanced technology was discovered somewhat by accident. Founded 25 years ago, Bloomberg explains, the company focused on nuclear fusion, which uses heavy hydrogen containing unstable subatomic particles called muons. It was during these studies A team of scientists has unexpectedly discovered a way to convert hydrogen into heat without burning it.

New life for power plant

“We believe there is an option to use this technology in existing steam turbines that have a certain lifespan,” Steve Horvath, director of technology at Star Scientific, told Bloomberg. Why should we abandon the potential of power plants already connected to the grid? – he asked referring to the example of Japan where 70 percent. The turbine still has 40 years of life.

As Bloomberg reports, the Australian company is already in January 2021. Signed an agreement with the government of the Philippines To research the modernization of coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia in this regard.

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