It looks like magic: a reactor is fed with carbon-bearing waste such as
used oil, cardboard, tar, and plastic, and out comes 99.9% pure hydrogen
and a residual carbonic gas compound.
The procedure is called
Hydrotherm and was invented by Friedrich Suppan. The secret is alkaline
hydrides which quadruple the economic yield for the same amount of raw
“The question of efficiency is scorned and ignored by those who stick to
traditional ways of thinking,” explains Wolfgang Kraft, director of the
Institute for the Creative Management of Innovation and Enterprise
The Hydrotherm process is part of a group of intelligent technologies
which can help to approach factor 4 in ecological efficiency, says Kraft
(to reach factor 4, we must reduce our energy consumption now, and
develop renewable energy sources).
Thanks to the “washing machine effect”, waste such as used oil, straw,
rape oil meal, sawdust, cardboard, tar, used tyres, bitumen, and
polythene are broken up at temperatures of 600 - 900 °C. As well as
hydrogen, alkaline hydrides and carbonates are produced.
“The gases produced by the system – hydrogen and volatile alkaline
hydrides – are used to extract precious metals,” says Kraft.
This characteristic of the Hydrotherm process – alkaline hydrides –
could give a boost to hydrogen technology and make a real difference,
especially in sales of hydrogen-powered vehicles. This new fuel,
economic to produce and use, will be available in the medium term, like
petrol, for cost-effective use.
Another green thermal process which has been scientifically evaluated
and patented in another phase of the project can produce pure silicon
tetrachloride from chlorinated hydrogen and in a later phase will enable
the cost-effective production of titanium and silicon. These
possibilities, whose number will only increase, show that progress in
efficiency towards factor 4 is always possible.
(Umwelt Journal, Austria,