Aleix Llovet and Xavier Salueña were inspired by Doc Brown’s “Mr. Fusion,” the device that converted garbage into power for a flying time-DeLorean in Back to the Future. Though their creation does not fly, nor travel through time, it can run on garbage — specifically, aluminium can tabs. The pair built a remote control car called the dAlh2Orean that captures hydrogen created by the interaction of sodium hydroxide and aluminium. The hydrogen is then used to power an on-board fuel cell, leaving no polluting waste material.
Additionally, the remaining fuel material can be reprocessed, as the pair describes in their press conference.
The aluminium hydroxide can be converted in alumina throughout a calcination process. With the alumina, aluminium can be obtained, in this case is more pure than the aluminium is currently recycled, and the same purity which is extracted from opencast mines bauxite, which is very dangerous for the environment.
Their design isn’t going to be running an SUV any time soon, the engine provides just enough power go about 20 mph for 40 minutes. It does, however, demonstrate that there may be a plethora of untapped fuel sources already available to energy-hungry humans.