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[Category : - DESIGN PATENTS]
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A method and apparatus for producing hydrogen using an aluminum-based water-split reaction, in which water is reacted with metallic aluminum, at least one-soluble inorganic salt catalyst that causes progressive pitting of the metallic aluminum, and at least one metal oxide initiator that increases temperature upon exposure to water. The solid reactant materials are differentially distributed in a matrix relative to at least one inlet for introducing water to the matrix. The differential distribution affects at least one characteristic of the reaction, such as the rate, temperature, pressure and products of the reaction, the latter comprising one or more of hydrogen, heat and steam. The water-soluble inorganic salt catalyst may be sodium chloride, potassium chloride and combinations thereof, and the metal oxide initiator may be magnesium oxide, calcium oxide and combinations thereof.; The solid reactant materials may be differentially distributed by concentrating at least one of the solid reactant materials in at least one area of the matrix relative to the inlet. One or more of the solid reactant materials may be concentrated proximate the inlet so as to achieve a rapid initial reaction upon introduction of water, or may be concentrated in defined packets at spaced apart locations within the matrix to achieve a more moderated action. The solid reactant materials may be positioned in layers arranged concentrically or spirally about the water inlet. The layers may be formed of a water permeable substrate, such as a fiber wool or mat material having the reactant materials deposited thereon. The substrate including the reactant materials may be stored in a disposable container, to which water is introduced via the inlet at the time of use.

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