Synthesize Energy from Recycled Aluminum Beverage Cans
Viduni Siriwardana
David Thompson
Floor Location : J 103 E

The global consumption of Al beverage containers are at a rate of 2 billion cans per week. This results in adverse environmental and biological implications. Such adverse effects can potentially be accentuated in countries such as Canada which relies on landfills as their source of solid waste disposal to discard nearly 70% of the waste generated from households. Not only the consumption of cans, the average electricity usage of a Canadian household is also increased to 11,135 kWh of electricity per year. This innovation investigates the use of aluminum beverage cans to produce hydrogen (H2) from a chemical reaction of aluminum (Al) and potassium hydroxide (KOH). The fuel cell will ionize the hydrogen atoms into proton and electrons. The electrons are used to generate electricity. The applicability of this approach is appreciated by the ability to use waste Al containers as a source of energy generation with the sole by product being eco-friendly water vapor.

The investigation of the applicability and practicality of this approach was investigated by monitoring the reaction in 1gram of Al scale which afforded 836 ml of H2 gas which comprehends the ability of this strategy to charge a standard cell phone (i.e: iPhone) of average consumption of 8.4 Wh using 11 aluminum cans [4]. Its reliability in generating energy was exemplified by powering a DC motor coupled to a propeller; for an average time, duration of 36 minutes.