Aluminum pellets combined with water may be the answer for automakers who have been searching for an easy way to produce hydrogen as fuel for their environmentally-friendly prototypes. Jerry Woodall, a professor at Purdue University, accidentally discovered the potential energy source when he was cleaning a crucible containing aluminum with water…

As Woodall described it to Reuters, “When I added water to this alloy- talk about a discovery- there was a violent poof.”

The “poof” turned out to be the production of hydrogen.

Aluminum pellets may provide a way to harness hydrogen energy effectively by allowing car owners to produce only as much hydrogen as needed at any given time. Hydrogen could be generated immediately by pouring water on the aluminum pellets, eliminating the problem of having to store or transport hydrogen.

Hydrogen-powered cars are considered the cleanest of the alternative fuel models because their only emission is water.

Additionally, the price of for hydrogen would be competitive with gasoline because it would power a fuel cell engine that would be so much more efficient than current engines. For more details about this discovery, see the Reuters story on MSNBC.