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Metal Fuel

  1. Oct 30, 2005 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2005 #2
    Not being a chemist, well, having a degree in it anyway, myself I don't know if magnesium, cesium and rubidium could be used as a recyclable energy carrier like the iron, aluminum and boron mentioned in the article. These three elements are quite reactive with oxygen, surely they could be used?
    Aircraft or military machines is the applications for such fuel, that I can think of anyway. For most fueling applications cesium and rubidium would cost far too much wouldn't they?
  4. Nov 1, 2005 #3


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    One would have to look at the total process - to see if that is feasible.

    It appears the idea is to oxidize the metal, which means change in volume and mass - with mass increasing. What is the specific energy of the system, as compared to alternatives?

    Also, how is the thermal energy converted to mechanical energy for propulsion?

    And where does one deposit the metal oxide?

    And how much energy is consumed in reconverting oxide to metal?

    Oxidation of Al is part of solid fuel rocket propulsion technology already - e.g. Shuttle SRBs.
  5. Nov 8, 2005 #4
    Ok, I've got nothing though.

    Don't know, article doesn't say much.

    Like in a normal internal combustion engine.

    Don't know, some sort of tank in the car I guess.

    It'd depend what metal it is, aluminum would take more than iron. Boron would take more than both of them, by several times.

    Yes, but you can't run cars that way.

    Magnesium, cesium and rubidium are hugely reactive. Small vials of the latter two reacting with water are like bombs going off. They'd make very, very high density fuel, wouldn't they? Sure, a way to keep the latter two from just oxidising in the air would have to be thought up, something invloving storage in a vaccum tank, or Noble gas, probably.
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