Monthly Archives: April 2008

The “Hydrogen Economy” — Resolving the Energy Crisis

Management recently opined on the market prospects for $100 oil. Today we saw an incredible $118 oil price breakout! The widely publicized “Peak Oil doomsday” scenario is nearing reality. In an exceptionally brief time frame — $100 oil is now seen as the floor price, rather than a ceiling price, for this essential, fungible international commodity.

Recent press reports cover isolated 5 to 10 billion — even to 30 billion — barrel discoveries which are promoted as once-in-a-decade finds, securing “adequate” recoverable world oil reserves for an indefinite future of oil plenty. To place these numbers in the proper perspective — the world’s current 86-million barrels per day consumption pattern requires an 8-billion barrel discovery every 90 days to replace world oil depletion — a 16-billion barrel discovery to replace about 6 months of consumption — and a 30-billion barrel discovery to replace a year’s world oil use. The looming energy supply gap predicts the certainty of a global oil crisis (interestingly, coinciding with the global food crisis making ominous daily headlines!). And the “experts” turn a blind eye to the fact that the world’s current oil discovery rate replaces only about 50% of current consumption! However the relevant statistics are “massaged” — world reserves of fossil fuels are decidedly finite.

Phoenix suggests that its innovative generation of low cost hydrogen fuel is as a REPLACEMENT (rather than “alternative”) energy resource. Simplified, the proprietary Phoenix technology employs suprametallic complexes (platinum group and related elements) as photocatalysts in the solar light-powered “molecular machines” to generate pure hydrogen gas from a common water feedstock. The “molecular machine” system splits water into its hydrogen and oxygen components by harnessing light energy sourced from most of the solar light spectrum. The catalytic action of the metallic complexes basically mimics natural photosynthesis (sunlight absorbed by vegetation chlorophyll) — the precursor of all fossil fuels. The process revolves full circle — with the Sun’s energy deriving from flaming hydrogen, the Phoenix “photoelectrochemical” technology appropriately employs its proprietary, catalytic, solar light-driven system to generate pure hydrogen

Re-thinking the roles (if any) for the wide range of alternative energy “solutions” being promoted — the most valid positive argument is that the world’s energy survival is increasingly dictated by the actions of unstable political regimes and/or their inept, often corrupt, national oil export monopolies and/or declining OPEC oil reserves. The development of new, internationally accessible energy resources is an urgent priority. The upside potential of alternative energies are well publicized — but their sponsors invariably ignore the obvious and damaging downside.

The most critical “numbers” are graphic. The world’s population, nearing 10-billion, demands more than minimal living standards. With food the obvious priority — fertilizers require massive fossil fuel energy inputs for their production and delivery. Affordable energy is a parallel basic need. It is difficult to envision an alternative to the “Hydrogen Economy” — drawing on inexhaustible reserves of a fuel that generates “clean” energy — with a totally benign environmental impact. Hydrogen energy is the only economic, sustainable and pristine replacement for depleting conventional energy reserves.

First and foremost — all primary alternative energy proposals demand, without exception, massive, long term government subsidies. Additional considerations:
Ethanol/Biofuels — The clear costs to the environment, to the taxpayer, and to the family food shopper, range from the questionable to the devastating. Diversion of food croplands to biofuel production has the nasty side effect of generating food grain shortages and sharp food price increases that are now causing acute worldwide social unrest. Aside from ethanol/biofuels resulting in a “negative energy balance” (when production, delivery and infrastructure costs are included) — forests and grasslands cleared for biofuel crops result in environmentally damaging emissions when deforestation is factored into the equation. Also, the corrosive nature of all biofuel end products are downplayed, even ignored, in the basic analyses of these alternative fuels.
Solar Energy and Wind Power — Both are problematic alternatives subject to material technical and economic limitations due, in part, to their intermittent operating conditions. Solar energy is limited by naturally intermittent night and overcast climatic changes — which includes snow and rain — drastically reducing solar panel efficiencies. A recently planned 300-acre solar park, comprising 200,000 solar panels to power only 2,000 homes, speaks for itself as an unreasonable alternative. Wind power problems derive from its dependence on naturally unpredictable air movements. Both solar energy and wind power therefore require sizeable capital costs for intermittent storage facilities — not yet technically nor economically feasible – and/or the alternative of duplicate fossil fuel, coal and/or nuclear generation facilities. In contrast, hydrogen gas production, transmission, combustion and storage employs conventional natural gas infrastructure.

The Phoenix Role in the “Hydrogen Economy”
Phoenix projects a leading role in the foreseeable “Hydrogen Economy” — after the successful grant of the milestone U.S. Patent 7,122,171 in October 2006. Phoenix holds worldwide exclusivity for the innovative, proprietary hydrogen gas generation technology held by its U.S. subsidiary — Phoenix International Energy Inc. The Phoenix position is secured through a long term Technology License Agreement with a major U.S. research university under which intellectual property rights are maintained for a period of 20 years beyond the 17-year life of the last patent issued under the accord. Phoenix submits that the U.S. Patent confirms that the pre-patent examination process disclosed no “prior art” that conflicts with the proprietary “foundation” technology covering the solar light-powered generation of minimal cost pure hydrogen fuel gas from an ordinary water feedstock.

per: S. Donald Moore
President & CEO
22 April 2008