EAT has developed Si+, a ground-breaking porous silicon material, which can generate, on demand, ultra-pure hydrogen from a water source. Si+ can also act as a solid-state hydrogen generating material that is compact, robust and easily transportable.
According to the company, it has the potential to solve the significant challenges of the storage, safe handling and transportation of hydrogen – long-standing inhibitors of the growth of the hydrogen economy. It can facilitate the phasing out of expensive and polluting backup diesel generator sets. Si+ is also seen as an ideal replacement for marine fuel oil – due to be phased out next year – and offers a thermal energy storage solution through exothermic heat that is released during the Si+ hydrogen generation reaction.
“Si+ facilitates a guaranteed form of energy when compared with renewable energy, which is often intermittent,” said Albert Lau, CEO of EAT. “It’s the first distributable energy storage material of grid parity. Si+ technology has the potential to bring forward the hydrogen economy by decades.”
During a webcast, Mr. Lau demonstrated how Si+ can generate hydrogen from a water source. “You could compare the inert vacuum-packed Si+ cartridges to those coffee machine pods and capsules, just add water and release the product,” he said.
The production process consumes underutilized electricity, emitting no greenhouse gases. The raw material is metallurgical silicon, which can be sourced from sand together with a carbon source, or from recycled silicon from broken or end-of-life solar panels otherwise destined for landfill.