Solar Driven Boron-Boron Oxide Cycle for On-Board Hydrogen Production in Automobiles

This study, funded by the Israeli Ministries of Science and of Infrastructures, investigated the viability of producing hydrogen on board motor vehicles using a metal called boron. Hydrogen, a carbon-free fuel, has the potential to play a role in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Arava Valley region and contribute to Israel’s energy independence. In particular, one of the most important applications of hydrogen is its use for transportation.  However, several barriers have to be overcome before hydrogen vehicles can be put into large-scale practical utilization. One of the most severe challenges is the lack of a safe and efficient onboard storage technology.

In this study, boron was used to store and transport solar energy from a production site to motor vehicles, where it generates hydrogen and heat.  This process eliminates the distribution, storage, and pumping of hydrogen at the refueling station, and diminishes the amount of hydrogen stored on the vehicle.