VOL 10, NO. 9, September 2004
Hydrogen–The fuel of the future Background of the invention
Hydrogen energy is environment-friendly. Because Hydrogen is the new buzz word as oil companies of the actual human ecology concerns, the exploitation and car makers back the view that it will be the of hydrogen as a universal fuel would be greatly successor to oil in the coming decades. Hydrogen acclaimed. A convenient source of hydrogen is a appears to be the best pollution-free alternative.
reaction of aluminum with water to split the water However, everyone is presently searching for an molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen efficient and cost effective method for producing is released as a gas and oxygen combines with hydrogen gas. A US patent (US 6,800,258) has been aluminum to form aluminum oxide compounds. Aluminum granted to inventors Reidar Erling Andersen and Jim is the third most abundant element after oxygen and Erling Andersen on October 5, 2004 for devising a silicon in the earth’s crust, and constitutes approximately simple and an economical hydrogen generator. The 8% by weight of the earth’s crust. Therefore, the inventors have also been granted a process patent reaction of aluminum with water to produce hydrogen (US 6,638,493) for producing hydrogen on October represents an interesting proposal to replace fossil It is known that under certain conditions, aluminum reacts with water to generate hydrogen and heat. Itis also known, however, that this type of reaction isnot sustainable at ambient temperature. It is believedthat a protective oxide layer forms on a metal surfacein contact with water at ambient temperature andhampers the reaction. Therefore, it has been acceptedby those skilled in the art that the use of aluminumin a reaction with water to generate heat and hydrogengas requires that the protective oxide layer is efficientlyand continuously removed, and that the reaction iskept at an elevated temperature.
Various other processes to produce hydrogen gas have been tried by inventors, as reacting water withmagnesium, sodium, potassium, lithium, calcium,iron, zinc or steel.
A hydrogen generator for releasing water with a measured change of aluminum particles and flake ofsodium hydroxide was reported in 1955 to producehydrogen and sodium aluminate. A generator havingbellows to raise or lower the level of water in responseto the pressure inside the generator was also reported (Hydrogen Generator)
Contd on.2
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A hydrogen generator wherein an aluminum or A series of experiments were carried out to measure aluminum alloy powder is reacted with water to the volume of hydrogen gas produced in the reaction generate hydrogen gas was reported in a US Patent at room temperature of 21 degree C and an atmospheric in 1992. An electric power source is used to explode pressure of 758 mm Hg. It was noticed that a typical an aluminum conductor and to disperse pieces of reaction with less than 5 grams of loosely crumpled molten aluminum into a mixture of water and aluminum aluminum foil, is complete in less than 5 minutes.
powder and a heat exchanger is provided to extract The results of these experiments are shown in A hydrogen generation system wherein a coating on reactive pellets is selectively removed to exposethe reactive material to water for producing hydrogen Hydrogen Gas Production from Aluminum Foil gas was reported in 1999. Aluminum and sodium hydroxide were reacted with water to release hydrogen Although these hydrogen production processes deserve undeniable merits, it is believed that thecatalytic reaction of aluminum and water, using sodium hydroxide as the catalyst, to release hydrogen gas from water at room temperature has never beenanticipated or observed and disclosed by prior inventors.
Moreover, the existing hydrogen generators are believed to be complicated and precarious to be operated by untrained individuals. They are believed to be designedfor use by scientists and other professionals working There still continues to be a need for a production process and for an apparatus for generating hydrogengas and heat using a simple reaction which can be The reaction yields a net maximum heat production started at room temperature and carried out safely during hydrogen generation of 195.6 kCal/mole. A by ordinary persons not having a formal education in further 204.9 kCal/mole will be released if the hydrogen is burned with oxygen. 51% of the reaction energy Present Invention
is used to form hydrogen gas and 49% goes into theproduction of heat.
The present invention relates to production of hydrogen gas by reacting aluminum with water in the FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the hydrogen presence of sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. The generator with the fuel cartridge completely immersed process is carried out at room temperature and in water. The hydrogen generator 20 essentially produces lot of heat and hydrogen gas of high purity.
comprises an expandable receptacle 22 having a The invention also relates to using a simple hydrogen closable fill opening 24 and a cleanout bung 30 generator which uses water and aluminum particles through its bottom surface to facilitate the periodic as fuel, and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) as a catalyst removal of the reaction byproducts such as alumina.
and a surface conditioner to reduce the formation of The receptacle is filled with water 32, to a level oxide layers on the aluminum particles. The aluminum of between half and three-quarter of its capacity. A used in the reaction comprises aluminum foil, electrical fuel cartridge 34 hanging from a vertical tube 36 is wire, beverage cans and other similar aluminum immersed into the water for causing a chemical reaction to occur with water, and for producing heat The catalyst is mixed with tap water in a proportion and hydrogen gas. The fuel cartridge 34 is supported of about 225 g. per liter of water. The sodium hydroxide in a perforated basket 38 affixed to the vertical tube content of the catalytic solution is preferably about 36. The vertical tube is connected to a gas handling 18% by weight. The catalyst is not chemically consumed manifold 40 mounted above the receptacle 22, and Contd on.3
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has a series of holes 42 therein for admitting the The fuel cartridge having a volume of about one hydrogen gas into the gas handling manifold.
liter, that is about 500 ml of aluminum and about 500 An annular cap 44 is also provided for mounting ml of paper filler material impregnated with sodium over the upper central opening of the receptacle.
hydroxide in a dry form, immersed in 10 liters of water Several clasps 46 are provided around the annular is believed to be sufficient for producing heat and cap 44 for securing the annular cap 44 in a sealing maintaining a reaction for about two hours, in which manner to the upper central opening 28. The upper the active phase is about one hour, and the heating central opening has a dimension to accommodate and cooling phases are about one-half hour each. It the insertion of the fuel cartridge and the basket is believed that the amount of hydrogen gas produced inside the receptacle. Upon the annular cap, there during the active phase is sufficient for cooking food is provided a bellows 48 having an interior region communicating with the receptacle such that the There are 11 claims out of which a few are expansion and retraction of the bellows are relative to the pressure inside the receptacle.
1. An apparatus for producing hydrogen gas, comprising; The process of producing hydrogen comprises the a receptacle having an upper portion and a central steps of partly filling the expandable receptacle with water and introducing the aluminum element andcatalyst in water. The expandable receptacle is a tube extending vertically through said upper partly sealed and the aluminum element reacts with portion and into central inside portion for extracting water. The expandable receptacle is expanded and hydrogen gas from inside said receptacle, said contracted in response to the pressure generated tube having a first tube end outside said receptacle due to the production of hydrogen causing the fuel and a second tube end in said central inside cartridge to emerge out or immerse into the water.
Due to pressure generated inside the receptacle means mounted to said first tube end, to withdraw the bellows expand upward which in turn causes fuel hydrogen gas from said receptacle as said hydrogen cartridge to be lifted toward an upper region of the receptacle thereby causing the water level to fall in a fuel element suspended to said second tube the receptacle. The contact surface between water and the fuel cartridge is thereby greatly reduced. The a timer mechanism affixed to said upper portion reaction is slowed down and the pressure and temperature and comprising a cylindrical opening there through inside the receptacle are consequently reduced. As enclosing said tube, means for suspending said pressure inside the receptacle is reduced, the bellows tube and said fuel element to said upper portion, collapse to re-immerse the fuel cartridge and to and a seal affixed to said cylindrical opening; said resume the active reaction phase. A timer mechanism seal circling said tube and having a sliding engagement 50 is provided for further improving the safety of the with said tube for a sealed longitudinal movement hydrogen generator. The timer mechanism is used of said tube through said cylindrical opening and for lifting the fuel cartridge above the water after a through said seal, and means for raising said tube set time period, even when the bellows remains in and said fuel opening and through said seal, and means for raising said tube and said fuel element A burner plate 60 is mounted over the gas handling relative to said upper portion unconditionally of a manifold which has conduit means communicating with the burner plate. A series of orifices are provided 2. The apparatus as claimed in claim I, wherein said in the burner plate to allow the burning of hydrogen means for suspending said tube and said fuel gas for cooking food for example in a similar manner element comprises a bellows for raising and lowering as is known of gas stoves. The gas handling manifold said fuel element in said central portion in response also has a selector valve 62 and a gas outlet fitting to more or less pressure inside said receptacle, 64 communicating with the selector valve. The and wherein a course of said bellows and a course selector valve is operable for selectively directing the of said linear actuator are coaxial and distinct hydrogen gas to the burner plate or to the outlet Visit us at www.indianpatents.org.in
from plant products. The major applicants are CSIR Patents related to plants -
(55), M/S Avestha Gengraine Tech. (19), M/S JB Indian scene
Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (11), and Synit In the last issues we had presented a trend of patent applications filed in India in the area of The maximum number of applications were filed biotechnology and the patents involving the use of in year 2001 (109) followed by 2002 (70) as shown microorganisms. In the present issue, we present an in figure 1. Applicants who have filed 6 or more overview on patents related to another very important Applicants
No. of patents filed
till December 2003
Organization on January 1, 1995. As a member, India was then required to comply with the Trade Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Systems(TRIPS) agreement. Specifically, Article 27.3 (b) of TRIPS requires member countries to protect plant varieties either by patents, or by an effective sui generis system of protection. Patent protection for Tropical Botanic Garden & Res. Inst.
plant per se is not available in India under Section 3(j) of the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2002. [Section3(j): plants and animals in whole or part thereof other than micro-organisms, but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals.
To comply with TRIPS agreement, India adopted its sui generis system for Plant Variety Protection.
The Indian Parliament enacted the Protection ofPlant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act of 2001 in order to spur the development of new varieties of plants by providing protection for developers of new plant varieties. But the protection available throughpatents is available for various plant related/derived India is home to 45,000 plant species and 75,000 animal species. Patent applications related to rice Plant related patent applications
and neem plant species dominated among otherspecies in the last ten years as shown in Figure 2, followed by tea and mustard. Besides the species listed in the figure, tomato, acacia, bamboo and pea also were found to have place among the plant related patents with two applications for each species.
In India 484 applications have been filed specifically referring to plants since November 1994 till December2003. Of these 484 applications, 221 are conventionapplications and 265 are non convention applications.
The convention applications (221) also include 132PCT applications. Applications related to agriculturalmachinery are not included in the analysis. Of the484 applications, 72 applications relates to plantextracts and 60 relate to various compositions derived Visit us at www.indianpatents.org.in
Contd on.5
Patents related to
Patents related to .
fungi and fungicides PCT applications, 125 are convention
- Indian Scene
till June
or to protect against possible disease.
of mint or Mentha claiming priority related to fungi in the IPR bulletin eight actually fall in the category total of 206 applications related to to its more favorable agronomictraits i.e. the profuse growth habitof ‘Neera’ and mint oil characteristics Patents applications related to fungicides
India. New plant varieties can be protected through registration under the ‘Protection utilization except the plant per se.
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Apotex loses case
based on ‘Doctrine comprises the steps of :
of Equivalents’
at the time of the application. Apotexargued that it was not foreseeable was readily known by chemists tobe equivalent to formic acid, it organic solvent’ to the literally recited courts denial of a preliminary injunction limitation that “the highly polar organic drafting of claims is clearly visible Visit us at www.indianpatents.org.in
Litigation Watch
Patent World, September 2004
historic judgement in the Netherlands.
Patent World, September 2004
Copyright world, September 2004
the rosiglitazone formulation patent.
explain the drug’s key ingredient.
copyrights, but that it was “accessing” Patent World, September 2004
Copyright world, September 2004
Patent World, September 2004
Contd on.8
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Patents for Opposition
Contd from.7
Litigation Watch .
The following patent applications have been accepted by the Patent users, allowing them to share files.
Office and published in the Gazette of India. These can now be opposed by filing opposition applications within a period of four months from the dates given. Six digit numbers allotted after acceptance by the Patent Office are given before the applicant names and patent application numbers given in brackets. Names of the branches of the Patent Office are denoted in the application number, e.g. ‘Bom’ for Bombay branch.
An opposition application should be submitted at the appropriate office where the concerned application was originally filed.
and since neither company maintainscontrol over index files there was June 5, 2004
Copyright world, September 2004
192912. Institut Francais Du Petrole France Federal Republic Of Germany (1396/MAS/95) Device for mixing particulate material and 192920. Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute For A process for treating plasticized polyvinyl The Statesman, September 18, 2004
June 12, 2004
patent for the exterior of the cars.
Process for the production of grain oriented electrical steel strip starting from thin Business Standard, September
192929. Steel Authority Of India Ltd India Visit us at www.indianpatents.org.in
Domestic News
A process of producing a sustained release trimetazidine dihydrochloride composition Device for elastic support of the coupling shaft of a central buffer coupling on arail car vehicle Indian Express September 12, 2004
for applying granular material to the surface 5 methyl 7 rhamnoglucosyl isoflavonefrom the rhizomes of curcuma longa linn June 19, 2004
Pneumatic booster with reduced hysteresis 192942. Mitsui Chemicals Inc Japan (1929/ National Herald September
Roller assembly for the transportation of 192947. The Chief Controller ResearchAnd Development Ministry Of Defence A process for preparing the acyclic chiral A data reproduction apparatus forreproducing data from the track of a form a mixture suitable for environmental NavBharat Times, September
Contd on.10
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Domestic News .
192956. Eaton Corporation. America (1699/ 192957. John Francis Urch. Australia (709/ An air conditioner with improved mounting multicolour printing with single impression 192961. Council Of Scientific And Industrial over to the driver, it will automatically 192962. Council Of Scientific And Industrial 192963. Council Of Scientific And Industrial 192964. Council Of Scientific And Industrial stereoselective preparation of r and senantiomers of 3 hydroxy 3 192965. Council Of Scientific And Industrial 2 pyridyl 2 8 bis trifluoromethyl 4 quinoline 192966. Council Of Scientific And Industrial 192967. Council Of Scientific And Industrial An improved process for the isomenisation 192968. Council Of Scientific And Industrial The Telegraph, September 12, 2004
192969. Council Of Scientific And Industrial A process for the preparation of purified 192970. Council Of Scientific And Industrial 192974. Discovision Associates California Apparatus for optical reading or recording 192977. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
192978. Pfizer Products Inc. America (109/ 192979. Central Electronics Limited (1126/ Contd on.11
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192980. Council Of Scientific And Industrial A process for isolation of peridininol from Domestic News .
192981. Council Of Scientific And Industrial The Economic Times,
September 10, 2004
A bi directional driverless guided vehicle novelty criteria in the Patents Act.
A method for generating a security design An electrolytic cell for the electrowinning The Economic Times,
September 8, 2004
192992. Britannia Industries Limited India 192993. Istituto Biologico Chemioterapico 192994. Britannia Industries Limited India of 5 4 2 n methyl n 2 pyridyl amino ethoxy A process for preparing a heat stable oil A process for producing a electrostatically Business Standard,
A heating device for heating an advancing September 9, 2004
193000. National Institute India (985/MAS/ Contd on.12
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Domestic News .
A pump for the delivery of a fluid contained A system for ultrasonic imaging of organs Fuel injection pump for internal combustion 193011. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co The Pioneer, September 24, 2004
Billet guiding unit of a continuous casting combined market of about $4 billion.
Method of producing a casing in a borehole Business Line September 14, 2004
base stations of different cellular systems 193029. Balu Ravikrishnan An Indian Citizen A cartridge type heating device for heating A method for producing a steel strip with Business Line September 14, 2004
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June 26, 2004
International News
193031.Minipack Torre S.P.A, Italy (2242/ A process for the preparation of an oxalic 1 9 3 0 3 5 . M e t a l l g e s e l l s c h a f t Method of forming an article via injection A process for the preparation of modified A process for the preparation of a dosage A plastic pre filled syringe and a method 193045.Institutfrancais Du Petrole France Patent World, September 2004
site characteristic of fluid samples extracted having correction for spherical aberration 193052.Toppan Printing Co Ltd Japan (1148/ Patent World, September 2004
base station from a network of existingbase stations and a method for adding abase station to a network of existingbase stations Contd on.14
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International News .
An adjustment device of the circuit breaker 193059.Daewoo Electronics CorporationKorea (1701/MAS/95) Electrical connector having terminals with 193063.Dr Partha Pratim Kanjilal India (440/ An instrument for continuous non invasive Patent World, September 2004
Optical head of an optical disc recording/ 193082.Switched Reluctance Drives Limited A control circuit for switched reluctance Patent World, September 2004
Contd on.15
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A terminal connector for an electric motor International News .
A helmet in particular antiballistic helmet A process for manufacture of a disinfectant Copyright world, September 2004
tissues in endoscopic surgical procedures 193105.Institut Francais Du Petrole France Copyright world, September 2004
A method of manufacturing a rotary cutting die and a rotary cutting die made thereby A method for the production of perovskite Contd on.16
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International News .
Business Line, September 16, 2004
an expert group went into the issue.
The Economic Times,
September 7, 2004
2005 to complete its investigations.
Copyright world, September 2004
Asian Age, September 8, 2004
The Economic Times,
September 11, 2004
its 20th birthday just this year, foreign The Times of India, September
Copyright world, September 2004
Please send us questions and topics you
would like to see in the coming issues
Published by: Patent Facilitating Centre (PFC)
Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC)
Department of Science and Technology (DST)Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi - 110 016 • Case Study
Tel.: 26859581, 26863877, 26967458 Fax: 26863866e-mail: tifac@nda.vsnl.net.in website: www.indianpatents.org.in and www.tifac.org.in • Case Law
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