rexresearch.com


Eugene R. ANDERSON

Catalytic Dissociation of Water




B. Harris: Texas Monthly (Sept. 1983); “The Big Con”
USP # 4,324,777 ~ Material and Method to Dissociate Water at Controlled Rates
USP # 4,306,906 ~ Method of making Metallic Amalgam
USP # 4,207,095 ~ Material and Method for Obtaining Hydrogen by Dissociation of Water
USP # 4,182,748 ~ Material and Method for Obtaining Hydrogen by Dissociation of Water



Excerpts from Texas Monthly (September 1983) ~

"The Big Con"

by

Byron Harris

He bends over a large sink in the corner of a laboratory while a group of prospective investors stands nearby. He is a man of prominent girth, over six feet tall, whose countenance has been likened to that of W.C. Fields. He tinkers with a foot-long, six-inch wide metal cylinder as the group looks on expectantly. He could be a performer or a preacher, knowing just what strings to pull, priming his audience. He calls himself a scientist, though, -- a chemist, engineer, physicist, inventor --- and those closest to him say he is a genius, a country boy with a rare creativity. But mostly Eugene Anderson is a con man, and a big leaguer at that…

The CRB (Chemical Reactor Block), Anderson says, is the product of years of R&D, but more R&D will be needed before they will be able to manufacture and sell it… He connects one end of a hose to a water faucet, the other end to the hose fitting at the base of the cylinder. It has a hole in its side that allows water to flow through the apparatus. He removes a small wire mesh cage from the top of the cylinder, then holds up a chunk of chalky gray metal. This is the CRB. He carefully puts the precious substance into the cage… He lowers the cage into the cylinder and turns on the water. As water flows through the fitting, a popping sound is heard.

Casually, Anderson strikes a match and moves it over the mouth of the cylinder. With a whoosh, a flame appears…

The beauty of Eugene Anderson’s discovery, the real nut of the magical and mysterious CRB material, is that it can supposedly dissociate the H and O of water without suing outside energy and without being consumed in the process…

It is probably impossible for the CRB to work. The energy to get hydrogen from water has to come from somewhere, and despite Anderson’s claims to the contrary, his critics suspect that it really comes from the dissolution of the CRB material. In fact, Anderson doesn’t seem to have as much of the material at the end of his demonstrations as he does at the beginning….

Explosions In The Garage ~

Anderson and his uncle [Marion McCoy] saw clearly that the basic problem of the CRB was finding a material that would produce hydrogen without exploding at the same time. Sodium had long been known to liberate hydrogen from water --- but the process was also highly combustible. McCoy and Anderson set out to moderate the reaction by combining sodium with other ingredients commonly thought to be “unfriendly” to it. When they finally produced an amalgam, it was Anderson’s job to test it in the garage laboratory.

McCoy had acquired a few 4-cylinder5 war surplus engines, which he converted to run on hydrogen. Although Anderson’s working journal shows evidence of difficulties (things kept exploding), it also shows that the amalgam could produce enough gas to run the engines…

In later years, men would examine Anderson’s notes and ponder their authenticity. Knowledgeable observers doubted that Anderson could have run the motors as long as he said he did [7 hours]. But if the notes are authentic, the reactions described characterize a material that even in its unperfected state could be of tremendous value…

Brain Surgery ~

Heading For The Big Time ~

A second major demonstration was arranged in the spring of 1978, this time at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. Anderson brought a chunk of CRB the size of his fist and put it in a sink, placing a funnel over it. The gas passed up the funnel, and he lit it, producing a faintly blue-tinged flame. Most of the scientists at the lab thought Anderson was a phony, but Dr Homer Carhart, who was the chief naval representative there, was not so quick to dismiss him. Carhart wanted to give Anderson a chance, but the portly Texan would not let the navy experts analyze the material. He was so secretive he even wiped out the sink, lest scrapings of the metal be found and their contents analyzed….

Science & Girls At Le Rififi ~

[ Demonstrations, negotiations, &c…]

Patent Magic With James J. Ling ~

Ling was more than mildly disturbed by the developments. By the terms of his agreement with Anderson, he had a six-month option to put up more development funds. After a few weeks a final make-or-break test was arranged at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Hydrogen and oxygen were produced, but the amount of oxygen, according to the Southwest report, was “far below the level one would see if the evolved gases were the result of water dissociation”. That meant that the oxygen probably came from te CRB material itself instead of from the water…

A Fortune In Penny Stocks ~

[ More demonstrations, negotiations, &C…]

In May 1981 Anderson called me at the Dallas TV station where I work as a reporter, saying he had an invention we might be interested in. A photographer and I went to Wills Point, where Anderson greeted us cryptically, then began working under the hood of a weather-beaten 1970 Chrysler, saying he was installing a CRB element. Neither of us knew what he was talking about, but we stayed while he continued. The CRB hydrogen generator allowed the car to achieve 44 miles per gallon, he explained, while reducing pollution and engine wear…

Anderson led us into his laboratory, where he lit CRB-generated gases from a white vertical pipe. “We now have a new energy resource that will replace, basically, the fossil fuels”…

Neither of us suspected that Eugene Anderson was a con man… After a day’s reflection and some checking, we put the story on the air.

Calls came in from around the country; news travels fast when it involves a potential investment. To our surprise, a call came from the Securities and Exchange Commission in Salt Lake City; it was investigating Anderson’s companies. In the next few months I began to realize the impact of having fallen for Anderson’s con. He was using a videotape of the report minus the end --- which said the CRB had yet to be proven --- to sell his invention.

On To The Pentagon ~

The CRB case, The SEC v. Horizon Energy Corp… was tried early in 1982 in the US district court in Salt Lake City. The SEC took more than two years to prepare and bring it to trial, and for all that, Eugene Anderson’s lawyer engineered an agreement that allowed him to go scot-free before the trial even ended… On the way to that judgment, however, the court found that Anderson’s tests of the CRB had never lasted long enough to prove what he said it would do, that it had never been used in anything except automobiles, and then only in short-term tests, and that the overall invention did not, as Anderson claimed, dissociate water without using an outside source of energy…

Anderson, through the connections of his Washington associates, had been trying for years to interest the Pentagon in the military applications of his invention… To his disappointment, however, the military did not fund the CRB. But it did buy something that came out of his laboratory.

Over the months and years that Anderson and his associates labored behind the storefront in Wills Point, trying to find the correct metallic combinations for th CRB, they noticed something. Their screen door fell apart. Subjected to the exhaust gases from the experiments, the aluminum door simply disintegrated. Anderson connected that to a compound he had used in the production of the CRB, an additive that removed oxides from metals. It became a kind of CRB II, a chemical that had far-reaching strategic implications. The deoxidizer would become the country boy’s link to the Pentagon.

The additive, according to Anderson, “affected the isotopic relationships of the hydrogen and oxygen in water”. Its effect, when applied to metals, was to remove their oxide coating and eventually realign their internal molecular relationships, he said. Whether his explanation is correct or not, the compound can weaken metal without leaving any trace of the destruction on the metal’s surface --- or so Anderson led the Pentagon to believe.

The material takes several hours to affect metal, but those effects, when complete, are substantial. Dab it on the wings of an aluminum aircraft, says Anderson, and the plane might fall out of the sky. If poured on parts of a battle tank, the tank could be reduced to scrap by a single bullet, he says…

The Pentagon granted Anderson a top-secret contract in June 1982. He was paid $250,000 for 100 hours of study and testing of CRB II at laboratories in Watertown, MA --- a pittance compared to what Anderson thought his idea was worth. He began to tell acquaintances that the contract was for $1 million… Though Anderson thought he was selling cheap, he entered into the contract anyway, hoping that it would lead to ore government work. The Pentagon was not at all sure that CRB II was feasible, but by making Anderson commit to a contract, the government could then legally prevent him from selling to an unfriendly country…

The selling of the Pentagon, Anderson style, is something officials do not talk about, under orders from the Secretary of Defense. Pentagon insiders describe CRB II as on of “the truly nasties”, a development so sinister that if dropped into the wrong hands it could, in military hyperbole, change the course of world history. Is CRB II going to revolutionize modern warfare? Or is the Pentagon trying to cover up an embarrassing mistake?

The Defense Department’s dealings with CRB II fall into a pattern similar to Anderson’s previous arrangements. Anderson received his initial payment from the government but completed only a few days of testing. When he tried to get out of the contract by reimbursing the government for that first payment, the check bounced…

&c…


USP # 4,324,777

Material and Method to Dissociate Water at Controlled Rates

by Eugene R. Anderson

Abstract --- A material and method for the decomposition/dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen is disclosed. The material comprises an amalgam of an alkali metal, mercury, and aluminum combined with a catalytically effective amount of an alloy comprising platinum and at least one metal selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin, and with an extender metal to control the rate of dissociation of the water while being non-reactive with the amalgam during dissociation.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents: 2083648 // 2837408 // 3313598 // 3490871 // 3540854 // 3833357 // 3985866 // 4182748
Foreign Patents: FR 337722 // GB 3188

Description ~

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a material for and method of effecting the decomposition/dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The water is reacted with an amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury to form hydrogen and a metallic hydroxide denoted by the formula Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6. The Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 is unstable at the temperature of formation in the presence of a catalyst comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin and breaks down to form metallic sodium and aluminum thereby releasing oxygen and hydrogen.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

It is well known in the prior art that the alkali metals react with water to form hydrogen and the stable alkali metal hydroxide. The foregoing reaction is rapid, the heat generated intense and explosion of hydrogen ordinarily occurs. The result is an unsatisfactory and dangerous method of generating hydrogen. It is also well known that alkali metal peroxides may be used for the generation of oxygen (see U.S. Pat. No. 3,574,561).

Thermochemical cycles comprising metal-metaloid combinations for the generation of both hydrogen and oxygen are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,969,495. Closed cycle processes for dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,821,358, 3,928,549 and 4,011,305. Combinations of various metals in multistep processes for dissociation of water are, therefore, well known; however, the simple and facile manner of producing hydrogen and oxygen utilizing an amalgam of alkali metal, aluminum and mercury combined with a catalytic alloy comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin has not been appreciated.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The material I have found to be suitable for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen from water without spontaneous combustion of the resultant evolved hydrogen and oxygen gases comprises an amalgam of (1) an alkali metal such as lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium, or combinations thereof, (2) aluminum and (3) mercury combined with a catalytic alloy comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin and with a metal to control the rate of dissociation of the water while being non-reactive with the amalgam during dissociation.

The particle size of the sodium and aluminum is such as to enable formation of an amalgam and may fall within the range of from about 10 to about 100 mesh. Most preferably, the particle size of the aluminum should be about 10 mesh. Alkali metal of 1/4" diameter is suitable. The particle size of either the alkali metal or aluminum is not critical since the foregoing metals and mercury readily intermix. The smaller the particle size, of course, the more rapid the mixing.

The atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 1:100 to about 100:1 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:100 to about 100:1. Preferably the atomic weight ratio ofalkali metal to mercury is from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:1 to about 3:1.

The amalgam of alkali metal, aluminum and mercury is combined with a catalytically active alloy which is present in a catalytically effective amount and, at the conditions of hydrogen generation, functions to regenerate amalgam to the active metallic state.

It is essential that the catalyst/alloy contain a platinum group metal and specifically platinum. The catalyst/alloy is generally comprised of platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin.

Preferably the catalyst comprises platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium and cadmium.

Catalytic activity is further enhanced by the addition of minor amounts of zirconium and chromium.

Lead and/or gold may be incorporated in the catalyst as an alloying element to lower the melting point of the alloy.

The alloy and amalgam may be combined in weight ratios of from about 1:1 to about 1:5 and preferably from about 1:2 to about 1:3.

Properties of the material which are desirable to control are its (i) hardness, (ii) the temperature of the dissociation reaction, and (iii) the rate of dissociation. These properties are regulated by choosing an extender metal that does not react with the amalgam at the point of dissociation in an amount effective to control the rate of the dissociation and/or temperature of the reaction and combining this extender metal with the amalgam and catalytic alloy. Metals that have been found which accomplish this result are silver, copper, thallium, titanium, magnesium, molybdenum, tungsten, cadmium, nickel, rhodium, iron, palladium, cobalt, chromium, tin, iridium, lead, gallium, vanadium, gold, antimony, zirconium and bismuth. The most preferred extender metal used with the preferred amalgam and preferred catalytic alloy is copper. Further, these extender metals are effective in controlling the rate of dissociation and/or the temperature of the dissociation reaction in amounts of from about 0.1 wt. % to about 97.3 wt. % of the total combination of amalgam, catalytic alloy and extender metal.

Although not wishing to be bound by these conclusions, it is believed that the extender metal controls these properties by coating the amalgam and catalytic alloy to thereby regulate the surface area of the amalgam exposed to water contact which thereby controls the properties of the material and by varying the heat conductance property of the extender metal, the heat transferred from the dissociation reaction thereby controls the properties of the material.

Further, although not wishing to be bound by the following explanation, it is believed that the water reacts with the alkali metal, e.g., sodium, and the aluminum liberating hydrogen and forming Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6. The Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 is unstable, and in the presence of the alloy at the conditions of Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 formation, the foregoing composition decomposes to form H.sub.2, O.sub.2 and regenerated amalgam. The alloy apparently functions to catalyze the decomposition, and thereby extends the useful life of the amalgam. The process may be depicted as follows:

2 Na+2 H.sub.2 O.fwdarw.2 NaOH+H.sub.2

6 H.sub.2 O+2 AL+6 NaOH.fwdarw.2 Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 +3 H.sub.2 ##EQU1##

The preferred catalytic alloy comprises (1) platinum present in an amount of from about 0.7 to about 1.1% by weight, (2) lead present in an amount of from about 42.9 to about 71.5% by weight, (3) antimony present in amount of from about 25.5 to about 42.5% by weight, (4) chromium present in an amount of from about 0.7 to about 1.1% by weight, (5) zirconium present in an amount of from about 4.1 to about 6.8% by weight and gold present in an amount of from about 1.1 to about 1.9% by weight.

A specific example of the alloy comprises about 0.9 wt. % platinum, about 57.3 wt. % lead, about 34.0 wt. % antimony, about 0.9 wt. % chromium, about 5.4 wt. % zirconium and about 1.5 wt. % gold.

The amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury is prepared utilizing and the well known procedures with the added proviso that an inert atmosphere be employed. Amalgamation may be facilitated by utilization of an elevated temperature, preferably around 200.degree. C..+-.10.degree. C. The amalgam is preferably maintained at this elevated temperature for about 10 minutes where 100 grams are being processed, and the time is extended about 1 minute for each additional 100 gram aliquot.

The resulting amalgam is cooled, generally to room temperature, utilizing an inert atmosphere. For this purpose either helium or nitrogen are satisfactory. Cooling is preferably effected in a desiccator to insure that no water contacts the amalgam.

As in the preparation of the amalgam and all other steps in the method of manufacture of the various compositions of this invention, precaution must be taken during preparation to avoid the presence of oxygen because it has been observed that oxygen operates to poison the resultant material.

The preparation of the catalytic alloy selected may be in any well known manner having in mind the proviso that an inert atmosphere be maintained.

The catalytic alloy, upon solidification, and as a practical matter, upon cooling is ground into a powder, preferably a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less. Cooling may be effected in a dessicator to insure the absence of oxygen and moisture, whose presence is deterimental during preparation. Grinding/pulverizing may be effected in any well known manner including use of a ball, hammer and/or stamp mill.

The extender metal is utilized in a particulate form of comparable sizeto the other components, which size is generally from about 10 to about 100 mesh and may be obtained by any conventional process.

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and extender metals are used in an alloy form, which means the particles of amalgam, catalytic alloy and extender metal are combined to form an admixture and alloyed under inert conditions at a temperature above the melting point of said admixture.

EXAMPLE I

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 35.144 parts of weight of sodium, 13.749 parts by weight of aluminum and 51.107 parts by weight of mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

19.0 parts by weight lead, 11.3 parts by weight antimony, 0.3 parts by weight platinum, 0.5 parts by weight gold, 1.8 parts by weight zirconium and 0.3 parts by weight chromium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C.above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a desiccator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor block is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a reaction temperature of about 134.0.degree. C. (273.2.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.14 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE II

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 37.688 parts by weight of aluminum, 32.112 parts by weight sodium and 30.2 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

60.7 parts by weight lead, 0.8 parts by weight platinum and 38.5 parts by weight germanium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, the inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a reaction temperature of about 119.3.degree. C. (246.7.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.20 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE III

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 22.947 parts by weight of aluminum, 18.391 parts by weight sodium and 58.662 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

63.064 parts by weight lead, 0.45 parts by weight platinum, 36.036 parts by weight antimony and 0.45 parts by weight germanium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and a powdered extender metal comprising 50 wt. % tin and 50 wt. % bismuth of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 442.7.degree. C. (728.9.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.12 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE IV

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 19.383 parts by weight aluminum, 31.068 parts by weight potassium and 49.549 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

42.847 parts by weight lead, 2.429 parts by weight platinum, 42.847 parts by weight antimony, 2.429 parts by weight cadmium and 9.448 parts by weight zirconium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered gallium of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of a finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an evaluated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter, the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 447.3.degree. C. (837.1.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.14 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE V

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 37.688 parts by weight aluminum, 32.112 parts by weight cesium and 30.2 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

60.7 parts by weight lead, 0.8 parts by weight platinum and 38.5 parts by weight germanium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 118.degree. C. (244.4.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volunme of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.20 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE VI

Amalgam

The identification of the ingredients, the amounts of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE I.

The identification of the ingredients, the amounts of each ingredient and the method of preparing the catalytic alloy are identical to the catalytic alloy described in EXAMPLE I.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

75.00 parts by weight amalgam.

24.900 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

0.100 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible and heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic compounds and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resultant reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor block is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with the dissociation reaction temperature being about 413.9.degree. C. (747.02.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent upon the reactor block's surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.21 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE VII

Amalgam

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE I.

Catalytic Alloy

96.000 parts by weight antimony and 4.000 parts by weight platinum are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered magnesium of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

50.0 parts by weight amalgam.

25.0 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

25.0 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compound should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed within a crucible conforming to the shape of such mass and is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resultant reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 395.0.degree. C. (743.0.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.34 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE VIII

Amalgam

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE I.

Catalytic Alloy

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the catalytic alloy are identical to the catalytic alloy described in EXAMPLE I.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered bismuth of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible conforming to the shape of such mass and heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling, the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium and nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor block is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 468.4.degree. C. (875.1.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.94 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE IX

Amalgam

The identificaton of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE II.

Catalytic Alloy

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the catalytic alloy are identical to the catalytic alloy described in EXAMPLE II.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered bismuth of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

72.6 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic components should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible conforming to its shape and is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter, the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling, the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resultant reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor block is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 453.7.degree. C. (848.7.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.44 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE X

Amalgam

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of peparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE II.

Catalytic Alloy

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the catalytic alloy are identical to the catalytic alloy described in EXAMPLE II.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered magnesium of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

28.225 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

50.0 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant admixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible conforming to the shape of the mass and is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter, the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling, the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resultant reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmosperic environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 364.1.degree. C. (687.38.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.54 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE XI

Amalgam

The identificaton of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE I.

Catalytic Alloy

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the catalytic alloy are identical to the catalytic alloy described in EXAMPLE I.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal of powdered bismuth of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

2.0 parts by weight amalgam.

0.664 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

97.336 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic components should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible conforming to its shape and is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter, the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling, the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic componentsand/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resultant reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor block is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment with a dissociation reaction temperature of about 39.5.degree. C. (103.1.degree. F.). The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.01 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE XII

Amalgam

The identification of the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient and the method of preparing the amalgam are identical to the amalgam described in EXAMPLE II.

Catalytic Alloy

6.900 parts by weight platinum and 93.100 parts by weight bismuth are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender Metal

The amalgam, catalytic alloy and an extender metal, which will be identified in Table A, of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

28.225 parts by weight catalytic alloy.

50.0 parts by weight extender metal.

The weighting and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mas by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass is disposed in a crucible conforming to its shape and is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling, the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Each reactor block having the extender material identified in Table a is contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from the contact comprising hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas is dependent upon reactor block surface area and the volume of the water impinging thereon.

As set forth in Table A, the first column sets forth the extender metal, the second column sets forth the dissociation reaction temperature in degrees C., the third column sets forth the dissociation reaction temperature in degrees F and the fourth column generally sets forth the quantity of water per minute that will react with a 2.5 square cm surface of the reactor block.
 

 TABLE A
    ______________________________________
 .degree.C. .degree.F.
                               Gal/Min.
    ______________________________________
    Silver     209.3        408.7  0.151
    Copper     223.9        435.0  0.161
    Thallium   226.5        439.7  0.163
    Titanium   356.7        674.1  0.257
    Magnesium  364.4        687.9  0.262
    Molybdenum 371.3        700.3  0.267
    Tungsten   381.6        718.9  0.275
    Cadmium    404.2        759.6  0.291
    Nickel     404.2        759.6  0.291
    Rhodium    406.6        763.8  0.293
    Iron       414.2        775.5  0.298
    Palladium  416.7        782.1  0.300
    Cobalt     417.9        784.2  0.300
    Chromium   419.2        786.6  0.302
    Tin        419.2        786.6  0.302
    Iridium    424.2        795.6  0.305
    Lead       438.5        821.3  0.316
    Gallium    439.2        822.6  0.316
    Vanadium   440.7        825.3  0.317
    Gold       440.7        825.3  0.317
    Antimony   447.9        838.2  0.322
    Zirconium  449.2        840.6  0.323
    ______________________________________


Although the invention has been described in detail with respect to specific examples, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications can be made by those skilled in the art within the scope of the invention as expressed in the following claims.
 Claims ~
 

The invention having been described, what is claimed is:

1. A material for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen from water at controlled rates, comprising: an amalgam of an alkali metal, mercury and aluminum wherein the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:1 to about 3:1; a catalytic alloy of platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin; and an extender metal comprising at least one metal selected from the group consisting of silver, copper, thallium, titanium, magnesium, molybdenum, tungsten, cadmium, nickel, rhodium, iron, palladium, cobalt, chromium, tin, iridium, lead, gallium, vanadium, gold, antimony, zirconium and bismuth, said extender metal comprising from about 0.1 wt. % to about 97.3 wt. % of the total combination of amalgam, catalytic alloy and extender metal.

2. The material of claim 1, further characterized in that the material is from about 0.1 wt. % to about 66.7 wt. % extender metal.

3. The material of claim 1, further characterized in that the extender comprises copper.

4. The material of claim 3, further characterized in that the material is from about 0.1 wt. % to about 66.7 wt % extender metal.

5. The material of claim 1, further characterized in that the alkali metal is sodium or potassium.

6. The material of claim 1, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and at least one metal selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium and cadmium and the alkali metal of the amalgam is sodium.

7. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and antimony.

8. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and germanium.

9. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy also contains a metal selected from the group consisting of zirconium, chromium and mixtures thereof.

10. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy also contains a metal selected from the group consisting of lead, gold and mixtures thereof.

11. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the ratio, by weight, of catalytic alloy to amalgam is from about 1:1 to about 1:5.

12. The material of claim 11, further characterized in that the ratio, by weight, of catalytic alloy to amalgam is about 1:1 to about 1:3.

13. The material of claim 9, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy contains from about 0.7% to about 1.1% by weight chromium.

14. The material of claim 6, further characterized in that the each of the metallic components of the catalytic alloy present in said material is present in an amount of from about 0.4 to about 28.5 weight percent based upon the weight of catalytic alloy and amalgam combined.

15. A process for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen from water at controlled rates, comprising the steps of: contacting water with an alloy of an amalgam of an alkali metal, mercury and aluminum wherin the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:1 to about 3:1, a platinum contaning catalytic alloy, and said extender metal comprising at least one metal selected from the group consisting of silver, copper, thallium, titanium, magnesium, molbydenum, tungsten, cadmium, nickel, rhodium, iron, palladium, cobalt, chromium, tin, iridium, lead, gallium, vanadium, gold, antimony, zironcium and bismuth, said extender metal comprising from about 0.1 wt. % to about 97.3 wt. % of the total combination of amalgam catalytic alloy and extender metal.

16. The process of claim 15, further characterized in that the material is from about 0.1 wt. % to about 66.7 wt. % extender metal.

17. The process of claim 15, further characterized in that the extender comprises copper.

18. The process of claim 17, further characterized in that the material is from about 0.1 wt. % to about 66.7 wt. % extender metal.

19. The process of claim 15, further characterized in that the alkali metal is sodium, potassium or mixtures thereof.

20. The process of claim 19, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and at least one metal selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin.

21. The process of claim 15, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and at last one metal selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, and cadmium and the alkali metal of the amalgam is sodium.

22. The process of claim 21, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and antimony.

23. The process of claim 21, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy comprises platinum and germanium.

24. The process of claim 21, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy also contains a metal selected from the group consisting of zirconium, chromium and mixtures thereof.

25. The process of claim 21, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy also contains a metal selected from the group consisting of lead, gold and mixtures thereof.

26. The process of claim 21, further characterized in that the ratio, by weight, of alloy to amalgam is from about 1:1 to about 1:5.

27. The process of claim 26, further characterized in that the ratio, by weight, of catalytic alloy to amalgam is about 1:1 to about 1:3.

28. The process of claim 24, further characterized in that the catalytic alloy contains from about 0.7% to about 1.1% by weight chromium.

29. The process of claim 15, further characterized in that each of the metallic components of the catalytic alloy present in said material is present in an amount of from about 0.4 to about 28.5 weight percent based upon the weight of alloy and amalgam combined.


USP # 4,306,906

Method of Making Metallic Amalgam

Eugene Anderson

Dec 22, 1981

Abstract -- A method of making an amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum comprises the steps of making an alkali metal amalgam under an inert atmosphere. The surface of aluminum is then coated with mercury and the coated aluminum is mixed with the alkali metal amalgam and given sufficient time to form the amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum.

U.S. Patent Documents: 969853 // 1803386  // 3574607 // 3615372 // 3993595 // 3997328 // 4182748

Other References

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a metallic amalgam and method of combining an alkali metal and aluminum by using mercury as an amalgamation medium.

Recently I discovered a use for an amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum with an atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury from about 100:1 to about 1:100 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum from about 1:100 to about 100:1. Preferably, the amalgam used has an atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum from about 1:1 to about 3:1.

I further found that although it is well known in the prior art to combine alkali metals with mercury into an amalgam, providing an amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum either in a direct combination using a high temperature phase or in an indirect combination by using mercury as an amalgamation medium is not known.

The method I have found which enables production of an amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum comprises the steps of making an alkali metal amalgam under an inert atmosphere. The surface of aluminum is then coated with mercury and the coated aluminum is mixed with the alkali metal amalgam and given sufficient time to form the amalgam of alkali metal and aluminum.

It is important to remember that this method is carried out under an inert atmosphere, such as helium or argon, so as to prohibit the formation of hydroxide contaminants on the surface of the alkali metal and oxide contaminants on the surface of the alkali metal and aluminum.

Further, it is important that the surface of the aluminum be treated to remove aluminum oxide so as to enable coating the aluminum with mercury. This may be accomplished by mechanically working the aluminum, such as with a ball mill, or by immersing the aluminum in an aqueous mercuric chloride solution, preferably a saturated aqueous mercuric chloride solution, so as to deposit a coating of mercury over the aluminum, either being in particles, sheets or whatever mass form desired. The aluminum is then leftin the mercuric chloride solution for a sufficient period of time to chemically replace the oxygen in the aluminum oxide with mercury. A sufficient quantity of mercury is then added to the aqueous mercuric chloride solution to thereby immerse the surface treated aluminum in the mercury and rapidly displace the mercuric chloride solution to prevent the continued contact of water in the solution with the coated aluminum. The mercuric chloride solution may then be removed by any of the well known methods for liquid removal from the surface of the mercury. The atmosphere is then purged to remove any and all moisture and oxygen. The coated aluminum and a measured amount of mercury are provided so as to make the amalgam described in application Ser. Nos. 902,705, 902,708 and 06/068,749, the information therein being incorporated herein by reference.

The mixture may then be allowed to combine in a natural fashion or this amalgamation may be facilitated by utilizing an elevated temperature, preferably around 200.degree. C..+-.10.degree. C. The amalgam is preferably maintained at this elevated temperature for about 10 minutes for the first 100 grams being processed and the time extended about 1 minute for each additional 100 grams thereafter.

The resulting amalgam is then cooled gradually to room temperature under an inert atmosphere. For this purpose, either helium or nitrogen are satisfactory and it is desirable that cooling be effected in a desiccator to ensure that no water contacts the amalgam.

EXAMPLE I

An amalgam of sodium and aluminum is obtained by withdrawing 35.1 grams of liquid sodium while maintaining a dry argon atmosphere thereover to provide a hydroxide and oxide free sodium. This hydroxide and oxide free sodium is then added to 36.8 grams of mercury at a rate to prevent boiling or vaporization of the mercury to thereby make 71.9 grams of sodium amalgam.

13.7 grams of 10 mesh aluminum is then immersed in a saturated aqueous mercuric chloride solution for approximately 30 seconds to chemically replace the oxide in the aluminum oxide with mercury.

Sufficient mercury is then rapidly added to the aqueous mercuric chloride solution so as to displace the aqueous mercuric chloride solution and totally immerse the coated aluminum.

The aqueous mercuric chloride is removed from the container supporting the coated aluminum and the atmosphere is purged to remove any and all moisture and oxygen.

The coated aluminum and 14.4 grams of mercury are then mixed with the 71.9 grams of sodium amalgam and heated at 200.degree. C. for 10 minutes to make approximately 100 grams of sodium-aluminum amalgam.

EXAMPLE II

An amalgam of potassium and aluminum is obtained by withdrawing 31.1 grams of liquid potassium while maintaining a dry argon atmosphere thereover to provide a hydroxide and oxide free potassium. This hydroxide and oxide free potassium is then added to 30.5 grams of mercury at a rate to prevent boiling or vaporization of the mercury to thereby make 61.6 grams of potassium amalgam.

19.4 grams of 10 mesh aluminum is then immersed in a saturated aqueous mercuric chloride solution for approximately 30 seconds to chemically replace the oxide in the aluminum oxide with mercury.

Sufficient mercury is then rapidly added to the aqueous mercuric chloride solution so as to displace the solution and totally immerse the coated aluminum.

The aqueous mercuric chloride is removed from the container supporting the coated aluminum and the atmosphere is purged to remove any and all moisture and oxygen.

The coated aluminum and 19.0 grams of mercury are then mixed with the 61.6 grams of potassium amalgam and heated at 200.degree. C. for 10 minutes to make approximately 100 grams of potassium-mercury amalgam.

EXAMPLE III

An amalgam of cesium and aluminum is obtained by withdrawing 32.1 grams of liquid cesium while maintaining a dry argon atmosphere thereover to provide a hydroxide and oxide free cesium. This hydroxide and oxide free cesium is then added to 13.9 grams of mercury at a rate to prevent boiling or vaporization of the mercury to thereby make 46.0 grams of cesium amalgam.

37.7 grams of 10 mesh aluminum is then immersed in a saturated aqueous mercuric chloride solution for approximately 30 seconds to chemically replace the oxide in the aluminum oxide with mercury.

Sufficient mercury is then rapidly added to the aqueous mercuric chloride solution so as to displace the solution and totally immerse the coated aluminum.

The aqueous mercuric chloride is removed from the container supporting the coated aluminum and the atmosphere is purged to remove any and all moisture and oxygen.

The coated aluminum and 16.3 grams of mercury are then mixed with the 46.0 grams of cesium amalgam and heated at 200.degree. C. for 10 minutes to make approximately 100 grams of cesium-mercury amalgam.

Claims ~

The invention having been described, what is claimed is:

1. A method of making an amalgam for dissociating water to obtain hydrogen, comprising the steps of: making an alkali metal amalgam consisting essentially of an alkali metal and mercury under an inert atmosphere; coating the surface of aluminum with mercury; mixing the coated aluminum with the alkali metal amalgam; and maintaining the temperature of the mixture for a sufficient period of time to form the amalgam.

2. The method of claim 1, including removing aluminum oxide from the surface of the aluminum; and immersing the surface treated aluminum in mercury.

3. The method of claim 2, including immersing the aluminum in an aqueous mercuric chloride solution to remove the aluminum oxide.

4. The method of claim 1, including heating the mixture of coated aluminum and alkali metal amalgam to facilitate amalgamation.

5. The method of claim 1, including mechanically working the aluminum to remove aluminum oxide from the surface.

6. The method of claim 1, including surface treating the alkali metal to remove oxides and hydroxide contaminants; and adding the treated alkali metal to mercury under an inert atmosphere to make the alkali metal amalgam.

7. A method of making an amalgam for dissociating water to obtain hydrogen, comprising the steps of: making an alkali metal amalgam consisting essentially of alkali metal and mercury under an inert atmosphere; removing aluminum oxide from the surface of aluminum; coating the oxide free surface of aluminum with mercury; mixing the coated aluminum with the alkali metal amalgam; and heating the mixture to a temperature for a sufficient period of time to facilitate amalgamation.

8. A method of making an amalgam for dissociating water to obtain hydrogen, comprising the steps of: making an alkali metal amalgam consisting essentially of alkali metal and mercury under inert atmosphere; immersing the aluminum in an aqueous mercuric chloride solution to remove aluminum oxide from the surface of aluminum and to coat the aluminum with the aluminum with mercury; mixing the coated aluminum with the alkali metal amalgam; and heating the mixture to a temperature for a sufficient period of time to facilitate amalgamation.


USP # 4,207,095

Material and Method for Obtaining Hydrogen by Dissociation of Water

Eugene R. Anderson

Abstract -- A material and method of use thereof is disclosed which produces hydrogen by decomposition of water. The material is an amalgam of an alkali metal, mercury and aluminum and hydrogen is produced by contacting water therewith.

References Cited ~
U.S. Patent Documents: 2837408 // 2991176 // 3181848 // 3313598 // 3343948 // 3490871 // 3540854 // 3833357 // 3985866

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a material for and method of effecting the decomposition/dissociation of water to form hydrogen. The water is reacted with an amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury to form hydrogen and a metallic hydroxide believed to be Na.sub.3 Al(OH).sub.6.

2. Description of the Prior Art

It is well known that alkali metals react with water to form hydrogen and the stable alkali hydroxide. The foregoing reaction is rapid, the heat generated intense and the hydrogen formed generally ignites with explosive force. The result is an unsatisfactory and dangerous method of generating hydrogen. Moreover, the resulting alkali metal hydroxide is very stable and regeneration to form the alkali metal is not practical from an economic standpoint.

A simple and facile method of producing hydrogen without spontaneous combustion of the resultant evolved hydrogen where an alkali metal is used has not heretofore been developed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In its broadest aspect, the material found as suitable for generation of hydrogen from water without spontaneous combustion of the resultant evolved hydrogen comprises an amalgam of (1) an alkali metal such as lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium or combinations thereof, (2) aluminum and (3) mercury.

The particle size of the sodium and aluminum is such as to facilitate formation of an amalgam. The amalgam has been prepared utilizing sodium of about 1/4 inch diameter and aluminum within the range of about 10 to about100 mesh. The particle size of either the alkali metal or the aluminum is not critical since the foregoing metals and mercury readily intermix. The smaller the particle size, of course, the more rapid the mixing.

The atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 1:100 to about 100:1 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:100 to about 100:1. Preferably the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:1 to about 3:1.

Although not wishing to be bound by the following explanation, it is believed that the water reacts with the alkali metal, e.g., sodium, and the aluminum liberating hydrogen to form Na.sub.3 Al(OH).sub.6. The reaction of the water with the amalgam is substantially different from the reaction of the alkali metal component of the amalgam with water. The heat generated by reaction of equivalent amounts of alkali metal in the form of the amalgam is substantially less than where the alkali metal along is reacted with water. Accordingly, spontaneous combustion of the hydrogen in an oxidizing environment as well as the formation of a highly stable sodium product is avoided where the amalgam of the invention is employed in place of the alkali metal alone.

The process may be depicted as follows:

2Na+2H.sub.2 O.fwdarw.2NaOH+H.sub.2

6H.sub.2 O+Al+6NaOH.fwdarw.2Na.sub.3 Al(OH).sub.6 +3H.sub.2

The amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury is prepared utilizing any known procedure for amalgamation with the added important proviso that an inert atmosphere be maintained during amalgamation. Amalgamation may be facilitated by utilization of an elevated temperature preferably around 200.degree. C..+-.10.degree. C. The amalgam is preferably maintained at this elevated temperature for about 10 minutes where 100 grams are being processed and the time is extended about a minute for each additional 100 gram aliquot.

The resulting amalgam is cooled, generally to room temperature, utilizing an inert atmosphere. For this purpose, either helium or nitrogen are satisfactory. Cooling is preferably effected in a dessicator to insure that no water contacts the amalgam.

Upon cooling, the amalgam solidifies and may be contacted with water by submersion, by spraying the water thereupon, by impinging water in the form of steam thereon or in any other manner. Contact of water at a temperature above 0.degree. C. produces evolution of hydrogen.

Examples of suitable amalgams are as follows:

Aluminum 37.7 weight per cent, sodium 32.1 weight per cent and mercury 30.2 weight per cent.

Aluminum 22.9 weight per cent, sodium 18.4 weight per cent, mercury 58.7 weight per cent.

Aluminum 19.4 weight per cent, sodium 31.1 weight per cent, mercury 49.5 weight per cent.

EXAMPLE

Preparation of Amalgam

35.144 parts by weight of sodium, 13.749 parts by weight of aluminum and 51.107 parts by weight of mercury are formed into an amalgam in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C. in a graphite crucible.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed which is a solid but which will liquefy upon agitation.

It is important to note that the amalgam should be prepared in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent premature hydroxide formation.

Use of Amalgam

The amalgam is placed in a suitable container with one surface thereof exposed. Water is sprayed upon the exposed surface or alternatively the exposed surface may be covered entirely with a layer of water. It is necessary that the amalgam be placed within a container because in the course of contact of the amalgam with water the heat generated during the course of hydrogen generation transforms the amalgam to liquid form. The amalgam regardless of how it is contacted with water will not cause an explosion.


US Patent # 4,182,748

Material and Method for Obtaining Hydrogen and Oxygen by Dissociation of Water

Eugene R. Anderson

Abstract ~A material and method for the decomposition/dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen is disclosed. The material comprises an amalgam of an alkali metal, mercury, and aluminum combined with a catalytically effective amount of an alloy comprising platinum and at least one metal selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin.

References Cited ~

U.S. Patent Documents: 2837408 // 3313598 // 3490871 // 3540854 // 3833357 // 3985866

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to a material for and method of effecting the decomposition/dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The water is reacted with an amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury to form hydrogen and a metallic hydroxide denoted by the formula Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6. The Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 is unstable at the temperature of formation in the presence of a catalyst comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin and breaks down to form metallic sodium and aluminum thereby releasing oxygen and hydrogen.

2. Description of the Prior Art

It is well known in the prior art that the alkali metals react with water to form hydrogen and the stable alkali metal hydroxide. The foregoing reaction is rapid, the heat generated intense and explosion of hydrogen ordinarily occurs. The result is an unsatisfactory and dangerous method of generating hydrogen. It is also well know that alkali metal peroxides may be used for the generation of oxygen (see U.S. Pat. No. 3,574,561).

Thermochemical cycles comprising metal-metaloid combinations for the generation of both hydrogen and oxygen are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,969,495.

Closed cycle processes for dissociation of water into hydrogen and oxygen are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,821,358, 3,928,549 and 4,011,305. Combinations of various metals in multistep processes for dissociation of water are, therefore, well known; however, the simple and facile manner of producing hydrogen and oxygen utilizing an amalgam of alkali metal, aluminum and mercury combined with a catalytic alloy comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin has not been heretofore appreciated.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The material I have found to be suitable for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen from water without spontaneous combustion of the resultant evolved hydrogen and oxygen gases comprises an amalgam of (1) an alkali metal suchas lithium, sodium, potassium, cesium, or combinations thereof, (2) aluminum and (3) mercury combined with a catalytic alloy comprising platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin.

The particle size of the sodium and aluminum is such as to enable formation of an amalgam and may fall within the range of from about 10 to about 100 mesh. Most preferably, the particle size of the aluminum should be about 10 mesh. Alkali metal of 1/4" diameter is suitable. The particle size of either the alkali metal or aluminum is not critical since the foregoing metals and mercury readily intermix. The smaller the particle size, of course, the more rapid the mixing.

The atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 1:100 to about 100:1 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:100 to about 100:1. Preferably the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to mercury is from about 3:1 to about 1:1.5 and the atomic weight ratio of alkali metal to aluminum is from about 1:1 to about 3:1.

The amalgam of alkali metal, aluminum and mercury is combined with a catalytically active alloy which is present in a catalytically effective amount and, at the conditions of hydrogen generation, functions to regenerate amalgam to the active metallic state.

It is essential that the catalyst/alloy contain a platinum group metal and specifically platinum. The catalyst/alloy is generally comprised of platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium, cadmium, bismuth, lead, zinc and tin.

Preferably the catalyst comprises platinum and at least one element selected from the group consisting of germanium, antimony, gallium, thallium, indium and cadmium.

Catalytic activity is further enhanced by the addition of minor amounts of zirconium and chromium.

Lead and/or gold may be incorporated in the catalyst as an alloying element to lower the melting point of the alloy.

The alloy and amalgam may be combined in weight ratios of from about 1:1 to about 1:5 and preferably from about 1:2 to about 1:3.

In combining the alloy and amalgam they may be compounded with an extender. The extender functions both to dilute the amalgam-catalytic alloy combination and to provide a heat sump for heat generated during the dissociation of water by contact with the combined amalgam and catalytic alloy. The extender is preferably copper; however, admixtures of tin and bismuth or gallium may also function as extenders.

The combination of amalgam and alloy or amalgam, alloy and extender is most suitably used in solid block form, hereinafter referred to as a reactor block. Where an extender is employed it may be present as a major constituent of the reactor block.

Although not wishing to be bound by the following explanation, it is believed that the water reacts with the alkali metal, e.g., sodium, and the aluminum liberating hydrogen and forming Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6. The Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 is unstable, and in the presence of the alloy at the conditions of Na.sub.3 AL(OH).sub.6 formation, the foregoing composition decomposes to form H.sub.2, O.sub.2 and regenerated amalgam. The alloy apparently functions to catalyze the decomposition, and thereby extends the useful life of the amalgam. The process may be depicted as follows:

2Na+2H.sub.2 O.fwdarw.2NaOH+H.sub.2

6H.sub.2 O+2Al+6NaOH.fwdarw.2Na.sub.3 Al(OH).sub.6 +3H.sub.2

Na.sub.3 Al(OH).sub.6 catalytic alloy 3Na+Al+3H.sub.2 +3O.sub.2

It is preferred to include chromium as an additional component of the alloy. The incorporation of chromium as a conponent of the alloy appears to lower the heat of reaction. The chromium is generally present in the alloy in an amount measured on a weight percent basis of said alloy of from about 0.7% to about 1.1% and preferably for about 0.8% to about 0.9%.

Each of the components of the alloy may be present in amounts of from about 0.4% by weight to about 28.5% by weight based on the weight of the combined catalytic alloy and amalgam.

The preferred alloy comprises (1) platinum present in an amount of from about 0.7 to about 1.1% by weight, (2) lead present in an amount of from about 42.9 to about 71.5% by weight, (3) antimony present in an amount of from about 25.5 to about 42.5% by weight, (4) chromium present in an amount of from about 0.7 to about 1.1% by weight, (5) zirconium present in an amount of from about 4.1 to about 6.8% by weight and gold present in an amount of from about 1.1 to about 1.9% by weight.

A specific example of the alloy comprises about 0.9 wt. % platinum, about 57.3 wt. % lead, about 34.0 wt. % antimony, about 0.9 wt. % chromium, about 5.4 wt. % zirconium and about 1.5 wt. % gold.

The amalgam of sodium, aluminum and mercury is prepared utilizing any of the well known procedures with the added proviso that an inert atmosphere be employed. Amalgamation may be facilitated by utilization of an elevated temperature, preferably around 200.degree. C..+-.10.degree. C. The amalgam is preferably maintained at this elevated temperature for about 10 minutes where 100 grams are being processed, and the time is extended about 1 minute for each additional 100 gram aliquot.

The resulting amalgam is cooled, generally to room temperature, utilizing an inert atmosphere. For this purpose either helium or nitrogen are satisfactory. Cooling is preferably effected in a desiccator to insure that no water contacts the amalgam.

As in the preparation of the amalgam and all other steps in the method of manufacture of the various compositions of this invention, precaution must be taken during preparation to avoid the presence of oxygen because it has been observed that oxygen operates to poison the resultant material.

The preparation of the alloy selected may be in any well known manner having in mind the proviso that an inert atmosphere be maintained.

The alloy, upon solidification, and as a practical matter, upon cooling is ground into a powder, preferably a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less. Cooling may be effected in a dessicator to insure the absence of oxygen and moisture, whose presence is detrimental during preparation. Grinding/pulverizing may be effected in any well known manner including use of a ball, hammer and/or stamp mill.

The objective in combining the alloy and amalgam is to intimately admix the two respective components. The specific manner of catalysis is not know, but generally catalysis is a surface phenomenon and consistent therewith in the instant invention it appears that the catalysis is related to both particle size and nature as well as uniformity of mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The amalgam and catalytic alloy may be used (1) in particulate form such as a floating bed, or other intimate dispersion, (2) in the form of porous mass which may be formed by compression or sintering or (3) as a solid mass by allowing of the amalgam and catalytic alloy. By alloying, it is meant that the amalgam and catalytic alloy are combined to form an admixture and alloyed under inert conditions at a temperature above the melting point of said admixture.

In either of the foregoing forms an extender, such as gallium, tin, bismuth or copper, and preferably copper may be utilized. The extender functions to vary activity and as a heat sink to retain at least a portion of the heat of reaction of sodium aluminum hydroxide formation, whereby catalysis of the unstable hydroxide to the metal and oxygen and hydrogen is enhanced.

Admixture of extender with the amalgam and catalytic alloy is effected utilizing the extender in a particulate form of comparable size to the other components, which size is generally from about 10 to about 100 mesh.

EXAMPLE I

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 35.144 parts by weight of sodium, 13.749 parts by weight of aluminum and 51.107 parts by weight of mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

19.0 Parts by weight lead, 11.3 parts by weight antimony, 0.3 parts by weight platinum, 0.5 parts by weight gold, 1.8 parts by weight zirconium and 0.3 parts by weight chromium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Intimate Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy Admixture

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy in an inert atmosphere to obtain a uniform mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The admixture may be utilized by passing steam upwardly therethrough whereby steam is dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy. The weighing and blending is effected in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The mold utilized produces a cubical block.

The resulting block is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and maintained at said temperature for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere, is maintained. Thereafter the mass comprised of amalgam and alloy is transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained and the mass is allowed to cool. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out in an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender

The amalgam and alloy prepared above and an extender of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight copper (extender).

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a desiccator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.14 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE II

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 37.688 parts by weight of aluminum, 32.112 parts by weight sodium and 30.2 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

60.7 Parts by weight lead, 0.8 parts by weight platinum and 38.5 parts by weight germanium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Intimate Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy Admixture

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy in an inert atmosphere to obtain a uniform mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The admixture may be utilized by passing steam upwardly therethrough whereby steam is dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy. The weighing and blending is effected in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The mold utilized produces a cubical block.

The resulting block is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and maintained at said temperature for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the mass comprised of amalgam and alloy is transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained and the mass is allowed to cool. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out in an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender

The amalgam and alloy prepared above and an extender of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam.

5.625 parts by weight alloy.

72.6 parts by weight copper.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a desiccator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.20 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE III

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 22.947 parts by weight of aluminum, 18.391 parts by weight sodium and 58.662 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

63.064 Parts by weight lead, 0.45 parts by weight platinum, 36.036 parts by weight antimony and 0.45 parts by weight germanium are introduced into graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Intimate Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy Admixture

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy in an inert atmosphere to obtain a uniform mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The admixture may be utilized by immersion in water whereby water is dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy. The weighing and blending is effected in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The mold utilized produces a cubical block.

The resulting block is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and maintained at said temperature for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the mass comprised of amalgam and alloy is transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained and the mass is allowed to cool. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out in an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender

The amalgam and alloy prepared above and a powdered extender comprising 50 wt.% tin and 50 wt.% bismuth of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam

5.625 parts by weight alloy

72.6 parts by weight extender

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.12 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE IV

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 19.383 parts by weight aluminum, 31.068 parts by weight potassium and 49.549 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

42.847 Parts by weight lead, 2.429 parts by weight platinum, 42.847 parts by weight antimony, 2.429 parts by weight cadmium and 9.448 parts by weight zirconium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Intimate Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy Admixture

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy in an inert atmosphere to obtain a uniform mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The admixture may be utilized by spraying water on the admixture whereby water is dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy. The weighing and blending is effected in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The mold utilized produces a cubical block.

The resulting block is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and maintained at said temperature for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere, is maintained. Thereafter the mass comprised of amalgam and alloy is transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained and the mass is allowed to cool. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out in an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender

The amalgam and alloy prepared above and an extender of powdered gallium of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 parts by weight amalgam

5.625 parts by weight alloy

72.6 parts by weight gallium.

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter, the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally, a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.14 gallons of water per minute.

EXAMPLE V

Preparation of Amalgam

An amalgam comprising 37.688 parts by weight aluminum, 32.112 parts by weight cesium and 30.2 parts by weight mercury is formed in a graphite crucible in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen at an elevated temperature of 200.degree. C.

The resulting amalgam is cooled to room temperature in a dessicator in an inert nitrogen atmosphere. Thereafter, the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of nitrogen.

It is important to prepare the amalgam in an inert gas atmosphere to prevent hydroxide formation.

Preparation of Catalytic Alloy

60.7 Parts by weight lead, 0.8 parts by weight platinum and 38.5 parts by weight germanium are introduced into a graphite crucible which is thereafter placed in an oven and heated to melting in an inert atmosphere of helium to form an alloy of said metals.

The resulting alloy is cooled in a dessicator to about room temperature in an inert helium atmosphere. Thereafter the amalgam is formed into a fine powder of about 10 mesh or less utilizing a ball mill. Grinding is effected in an inert atmosphere of helium.

The inert atmosphere is used to prevent oxidation of the alloy.

Formation of Intimate Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy Admixture

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy in an inert atmosphere to obtain a uniform mixture of the amalgam and catalytic alloy.

The admixture may be utilized by passing steam upwardly therethrough whereby steam is dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam and Catalytic Alloy

Three parts by weight of powdered amalgam is admixed with one part by weight powdered alloy. The weighing and blending is effected in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product. The mold utilized produces a cubical block.

The resulting block is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and maintained at said temperature for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the mass comprised of amalgam and alloy is transferred to dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained and the mass is allowed to cool. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out in an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

Formation of Reactor Block Comprising Amalgam, Catalytic Alloy and Extender

The amalgam and alloy prepared above and an extender of powdered copper of about 10 mesh are admixed in the following proportions:

21.775 by weight amalgam

5.625 parts by weight alloy

72.6 parts by weight copper

The weighing and blending of the foregoing metallic compounds should be done in an inert atmosphere.

After blending to provide a uniform mixture, the resultant mixture is compressed to form a solid mass by application of pressure of about 40,000 pounds per square inch in a graphite mold conforming to the desired shape of the finished product.

The compressed mass in a crucible conforming to the shape thereof is heated to an elevated temperature of about 10.degree. C. above the melting point of the mass and this temperature is maintained for about 10.+-.1 minutes. In the oven utilized for heating, an inert atmosphere is maintained. Thereafter the crucible and its contents are transferred to a dessicator wherein an inert atmosphere is maintained. Upon cooling the resultant block is ready for use.

The entire foregoing procedure should be carried out under an inert atmosphere such as helium or nitrogen and in the absence of contaminants. Oxidation of the metallic components and/or hydroxide formation will "poison" the resulting reactor block and reduce the activity thereof. Moreover, during the steps of the process operated at elevated temperature, the presence of any oxygen will cause the mass to ignite.

The reactor blocks are contacted with a fine spray of water at about room temperature in an atmospheric environment. The gaseous effluent from said contact comprises hydrogen and oxygen and burns when subjected to electrical sparking. The volume of gas evolved is dependent on reactor block surface area and the volume of water impinging thereon. Generally a 2.5 square cm surface will react with 0.20 gallons of water per minute.

Although the invention has been described in detail with respect to specific examples, it will be appreciated that various changes and modifications can be made by those skilled in the art within the scope of the invention as expressed in the following claims.



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