166: Water- based fuel


While fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago, we have only been using them for fuel for a fairly short period of time – just over 200 years. If we keep burning fossil fuels at our current rate, it is estimated that all our fossil fuels will be depleted by 2060.



An Australian-Israeli startup has innovated a water-based fuel it claims will offer zero emissions with a lower cost and greater range than current battery or fuel cell tech. Electriq-Fuel is 60 % water, and releases hydrogen when it reacts with an onboard catalyst.

The fuel cost is as low as 50% of other fuel types, and Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles total-cost-of-ownership is reduced by ~30% compared to other clean vehicles. Spent fuel is recaptured and taken to a plant for recycling.

Electriq-Global (formerly Terragenic), based in Tirat Carmel, Israel is claiming that their potentially revolutionary hydrogen on-demand technology enables fifteen-times the energy density of standard automotive batteries and with only few minutes refueling time.

Liquid-stable, non-flammable, non-explosive and safe at ambient pressure and temperature, refueling would be done at a pump, much such as a car powered by fossil fuels or conventional gaseous hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.

The technology includes a patented hydrogen liquid carrier type fuel (T-Fuel™), a process for producing and recycling the fuel (T-Pot™), and a catalyst that allows hydrogen to be extracted on demand (T-Cat™).

Its inventor, Dr. Alex Silberman, having studied electrochemistry in the Ural, moved to Israel, where in 2006 he started his applied research on borohydride. Three years later, he had cracked the kinetics (fast release of hydrogen) process, the stability of the solution and the recycling of the spent fuel.

He patented the controlled generation, storage and transportation of hydrogen for mobility in 2009. He also patented the catalyst that released the hydrogen from the solution quickly enough. Silberman added another patent for the second-generation hydrogen solution with double the energy content.

Electriq are now searching for a system that can reverse the process by electrolysis, the spent solution will have to be sent for industrial reprocessing and probably the overall efficiency will be much lower than that of a battery. The advantages and disadvantages of the system are similar to those of the zinc-air battery.

Electriq-Global first tested its Electriq~Fuel technology with a hydrogen e-bike. The fuel cell was mounted on the rear. But there was no pressure tank for the hydrogen. Instead, the e-bike had a small plastic fuel tank and a metal vessel that generated hydro, gen from the liquid.

Additional studies the company conducted showed a transport bus covered 621 mi. (1,000 km) on a single tank compared to an electric bus’ 155 mi (250 km) range.

In November, 2018 the company attended the 2018 Zero Emissions Conference in Cologne where they announced that they would be taking an active role in promoting ZE buses. The company was planning to commission its first fuel recycling plant in Israel 2019.

In April 2019, it plans for samples of its next-generation of the fuel. Electriq~Global has also announced a partnership with Dutch startup Eleqtec to launch its water-based fuel technology in the Netherlands, including Electriq~Fuel’s recycling plants and mobility applications for trucks, barges and mobile generators.

In 2021, Electriq Global linked up with BOOT10 Amsterdam BV, an operator of passenger canal boats, announced today their collaboration plans to equip the Staets boats with an Electriq PowerPack using Electriq Fuel.

The technology will be demonstrated in 2021 on the Staets-I boat.

At the same time, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has signed a long-term collaboration with AC2T research GmbH, the Austrian Excellence Centre for Tribology and industrial partner Electriq Global Ltd. in the area of new materials for clean energy.

Discover Solution 167: Geomechanical pumped storage

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