A GROUP of American scientists at Missouri University of Science and Technology is developing a portable, hydrogen-generating power system to power everything from laptops to communications gear for soldiers in the battlefield.
The system transforms jet fuel into hydrogen and could, for example, relieve soldiers from shouldering heavy loads of batteries. Individual soldiers can carry 4.5-18kg (10-40lb) of batteries on standard short missions. The batteries power soldiers’ personal portable electronics, such as GPS systems and night-vision goggles.
Thanks to the Missouri team, they have the opportunity of turning to a much lighter, albeit highly flammable, option known as JP-8, which is similar to civilian aviation fuel.
The system works by reacting jet fuel with water to produce hydrogen. Small amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and ethane are also released during the process.