Gizmag has reported that UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to $US1.50 per gallon petrol replacement.

The technology, developed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, is based on complex hydrides, The development team was led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University.

Gizmag quotes Stephen Voller, CEO of Cella Energy, as saying “We have developed new micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels, Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.”

Cella Energy’s web site describes the technology as using complex chemical hydrides to store hydrogen inside a nano-porous polymer that speeds up the rate at which hydrogen is released, reduces the temperature at which this occurs and filters out many, if not all, damaging chemicals. It also protects the hydrides from oxygen and water, making it possible to handle the fuel in air.

Cella Energy says that this provides a way of storing and delivering hydrogen safely for use in an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell and also as a fuel additive to reduce the carbon emissions from a hydrocarbon fuel.