The transition towards sustainability is not going to be an easy one, as it will require shifts from our current unsustainable systems. There will be no single solution to solve all problems concerning emissions in the near future. Currently, each possibility has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Our idea to help solve climate change is to use Hydrozine as an liquid energy carrier. Energy can be stored inside Hydrozine to be used any time and place and the use of Hydrozine is carbon neutral! Our system converts Hydrozine into electrical energy on any location. The system relies on a catalytic reaction which transforms the Hydrozine into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Our catalyst, which has been developed in-house, based on a catalyst found by prof. Laurenczy (EPFL), is durable and can convert the Hydrozine much quicker than previous catalysts.
Hydrozine is sustainably produced formic acid. For Team FAST sustainable production of formic acid is extremely important. Hydrozine technology is only sustainable if the whole chain is durable Therefore, formic acid should be produced in a sustainable manner. There are two methods to produce formic acid sustainably. Firstly, formic acid can be extracted from plants. However, this method is still in the research phase and the future prospects are being investigated.
Secondly, carbon dioxide can be mixed with water with the addition of sustainable electricity to create Hydrozine. The carbon dioxide used to create the Hydrozine is exhausted thus our process is carbon neutral. The carbon dioxide can be gathered in multiple ways, ranging from manure plants to paint factories. Our partner Voltachem is currently creating a 1 MW power plant to produce Hydrozine.
The REX is a standalone generator for electricity that uses Hydrozine as fuel. This means that the REX can be used for any application using electricity. Initially the REX was solely meant for providing power to electrical busses. But it was decided that we want to use the system for a wider span of applications. For instance in the construction sector the generator can be used to provide power on site. Shipping is another market we would potentially like to enter with the REX. Currently large freight ships are mainly powered by diesel. We believe that Hydrozine can provide power to these sectors and fully replace the unsustainable fuels.
The usage of Hydrozine within REX works as follows. The Hydrozine is stored in the REX at atmospheric level. Afterwards the liquid is pumped into the reformer. Here a catalyst is used to transform the liquid Hydrozine into the gasses hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The gases than flow towards the fuel cell. In this cell the hydrogen reacts with oxygen from the air. Through this reaction electricity is generated that powers the electrical system of the bus. Water vapour and carbon dioxide are being emitted into the air after the electricity is extracted, which are the same components that are used to create Hydrozine. This completes the circle and making this energy carrier carbon neutral.
The catalyst mentioned above is crucial for the system to work. This substance is our true novelty and is developed in-house. This catalyst can convert Hydrozine into hydrogen and CO2 much quicker, more stable and more energy efficient than any previous catalyst.
Pico was created in 2014 by a group of honours students. We agree that Pico does not look too impressive, but this little device was able to drive on Hydrozine for the first time. When building Pico the group of students came up with the idea of using Hydrozine as a new energy carrier, which could potentially change the future of mobility. So Team FAST was formed.
Junior was created in 2015 by Team FAST to prove to the world that our idea was feasible. It is a scale model of our current system, the REX. This RC car works on Hydrozine and has a maximal speed of 70km/h. The REX essentially works the same way as Junior but is 1000 times more powerful.