HERO® technology produces a clean, zero emission¹ source of heat. It performs the flameless, catalytic oxidation of hydrogen gas to produce heat and water. The amount of fuel supplied controls the temperature the system achieves. Fuel gases are the only materials consumed in this heat production. The catalyst is not degraded in the reaction and, because it starts working at room temperature, doesn’t require preheating or an external heat source.
HERO® takes a number of forms, the most common being a coating on a metallic substrate. In this configuration, the heat produced by the reaction is transferred to the working medium by conduction, which is far more efficient than transferring heat through radiation.
HERO® sits between levels five and six of the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) system used by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Star Scientific Limited has produced high-quality steam within a laboratory and is currently upscaling to a demonstration unit. These efforts will ultimately result in a system capable of generating sufficient quantities of high-quality steam to operate a turbine producing electrical power. At the other end of the scale, it’s also suitable for powering Stirling engines.
The technology readily lends itself to producing higher energy, super-heated steam – and other high-temperature gases such as helium and carbon dioxide – for efficient power production. This has already been demonstrated using a small-scale closed circuit, conventionally cooled helium circuit.
HERO® will play a significant role in the supply of carbon-free electricity through stored hydrogen. This hydrogen will be produced by electrolysis or other means using renewable energy sources. The ultra-pure water produced during the HERO® reaction will be captured and reused in the electrolysis process.
Put simply, HERO® is suitable for almost any application that requires heat. These include power production, industrial drying processes, air-conditioning systems, water pumping and desalination. It could also be readily applied to district heating models favoured in Northern European countries and Northern China.
The compact nature of the technology lends itself to small, ‘off-grid’ systems in remote and rural locations. It’s equally suitable within population centres given that it generates zero emissions. The combination of these two factors makes HERO® an excellent option for decentralised power distribution.
¹ Assuming hydrogen is produced with ‘green’ electrolysis
Interested in using HERO®?
Star Scientific discovered HERO® while building on a chance discovery made by a team of scientists in 1956. A team working at the University of California, Berkeley, catalysed a nuclear fusion event in a liquid-hydrogen chamber at a very low temperature. This discovery of muon-catalysed fusion (MCF) was a game-changing accident. It pointed to the potential for limitless clean energy with minimal waste in safe conditions. Star Scientific continues to work on making this a reality.
Transforming our global energy future requires a sense of purpose, passion and plenty of perseverance. If you want to help realise a smarter and more sustainable tomorrow, we would like to hear from you.