Sodium Silicide + Water = E-Bike Power

Just add water  — that’s the impossible-to-resist hook with the latest electric-bike charging system to roll down the pike. And reactive-materials company SiGNa Chemistry now says its portable fuel cell, which relies on hydrogen gas instantly produced by mixing water with sodium silicide in a safe powder form, could have much wider applications.

For bikes, the SiGNa system can provide 200 watts of continuous power and 60 miles of non-pedaling riding, whereas most electric bikes promise only about 20 miles. And the only emission is water vapor. Cool as that is, the company really has its eyes set on its technology — detailed here — migrating to larger uses, according to President and CEO Michael Lefenfeld.

image via SiGNa

“SiGNa’s portable-power system overcomes two key challenges with using hydrogen for transportation applications – adequate hydrogen storage and safe transport,” Lefenfeld said. “SiGNa has begun by developing a system that provides power to e-bikes; we envision this platform will become a primary or backup power source for many transportation applications.”

SiGNa demonstrated the technology on a Pedego electric bicycle, but said it is directly compatible with most electric bicycle models. Still no word on the precise cost of the cartridges, but SiGNa did say they were “inexpensive” and could be preordered.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

1 Comment

  • Reply November 11, 2010

    Vivek Arora

    Congratulations on this development.

    Our mother earth needs such innovations today.

    The party is over, we have over exploited the nature and it has started retaliating.

    To equester the ill effects of large amount of CO2 released in the atmosphere, we need to do great amounts of forestation and adopt measures such as use of solar energy and have bikes / vehicles which run on non polluting fuels.

    I am interested to know more about this Sodium Silicide reaction with Water.



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