In October of 2011 another important benchmark was achieved. HEC received a patent concerning our process of burning a mixture of hydrogen and anhydrous ammonia in a combustion chamber. This could be an important patent, since storing hydrogen presents a major challenge. Current storage methods involve very strong and costly storage vessels and equipment. In addition, hydrogen could become very explosive and extreme care must be observed in storing it.
This is where the anhydrous ammonia comes in. It is an excellent carrier of hydrogen, and can actually carry more usable hydrogen than if you were using liquid hydrogen. On top of its ability to carry hydrogen, anhydrous ammonia can be stored under much more favorable temperatures and pressures! Also, safety studies prove it compares favorably with the safety of gasoline and propane.
It is currently distributed through a pipeline system covering 14 Midwestern states, with usage being common practice in the agricultural community. In other words, it has an existing distribution system and equipment (including storage tanks) that are available in the marketplace.
For these reasons, the patent HEC has received could be important, in a future hydrogen energy economy. We believe this is another achievement that could significantly contribute to the company’s financial future.