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The HCE Company

CONTACT: Louis Ventre, Jr. (703-242-1247)

August 8, 2012


Oakton, VA.

James Jordan, President of HCE, announced that HCE was issued a patent (U.S. Patent 8,181,941) by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on a new device and method for hydrogen storage.

Jordan says, “This breakthrough concept provides a practical pathway for the use of hydrogen as a mobility fuel.  Storage and distribution of hydrogen has been a vexing challenge long recognized by the science and technical community.  HCE seeks those interested in developing the technology with the prospect of sharing ownership.”

“The invention was the brainchild of the brilliant, but now deceased physicist, formerly of Brookhaven National Lab, Udo von Wimmersperg. HCE’s Member and Patent Attorney, Louis Ventre Jr. explains: "In issuing the patent, the United States Patent and Trademark Office agrees that this invention is unique and innovative. We believe in the vision of the inventor that it holds the potential to permit storage of gaseous hydrogen at room temperature in quasi-liquid form, having characteristics similar to gasoline."

The device creates nanometer-scale water bubbles filled with hydrogen gas.  At this scale, surface tension can maintain the gas within a bubble at very high pressure, about equal to 43,500 pounds per square inch (3,000 atmospheres) inside the bubble.  It was Dr. von Wimmersperg's realization that the smallness of the nano-scale bubbles would enable pressurization well beyond that currently achievable and confer on the nano-bubbles a stability that resists gravitational aggregation and merging. He felt that the resulting nano-bubble fluid held the potential to be stored, distributed and handled like gasoline.

Existing hydrogen storage systems store hydrogen in high-pressure cylinders at about 3,600 pounds per square inch pressure (about 250 atmospheres).  Some research labs are exploring very high-pressure storage at about 12,000 pounds per square inch (about 800 atmospheres).

Meyer Steinberg, HCE's vice president and chief engineer also formerly of Brookhaven National Lab, stated: "Calculations show that hydrogen stored in nano-bubble form is expected to have a volumetric energy density (higher heating value) from about 24 to 29 megajoules per liter." Dr. von Wimmersperg calculated that the stated range is attributable to uncertainties in compressibility and small-scale cohesion factors, which compares favorably with the energy density for gasoline at about 26 to 31 megajoules per liter.

The process is expected to have application to other high value gases made more usable in such a storage medium, such as natural gas and propane.

Last modified 08-AUG-2012
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