Salty fuel cell technology

A novel device based on an aluminum-gallium-indium-tin alloy can split fresh and salt water, releasing hydrogen ions that could power a fuel cell for electricity production. At the same time, the water vapor released as a byproduct of the latter process is essentially desalinated. Jerry Woodall of Purdue University explains that because it works with salt water, the device could have widespread marine applications, such as powering boats and robotic underwater vehicles. The low cost of the primary material, aluminum, means it could also have application for local power production and water desalination in the developing world. Corrosion issues might be a problem given the juxtaposition of active elements, steam and salt water.