Shani Elitzur, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, won third place in the international Falling Walls Young Innovators competition in Berlin. Elitzur, one of the competition’s 100 finalists from 44 nations, presented an innovative technology for the production of hydrogen energy that could reduce dependence on oil through the use of hydrogen-based propulsion. Falling Walls Lab is an international competition held in Berlin since 2011.
More than 1,300 young scientists applied for the competition this year. Elitzur recently received a grant from the Ministry of Science for developments in the field of alternative fuels for transportation – a NIS 300,000 grant that will enable her to continue her research. According to the Ministry of Science, Elitzur’s research program has demonstrated applied feasibility with commercial potential. Shani began her studies at Technion as a member of the IDF Academic Reserve, and went on to earn a master’s degree. For her doctorate, under the guidance of Prof. Alon Gany and Dr. Valery Rosenband, she is developing an innovative technology for producing energy from hydrogen. The method is based on the interaction between aluminum and water in the presence of a very low dosage of an activating substance (2.5%). The electrical energy generated by the aluminum-water technology is higher by an order of magnitude than the electrical energy obtainable with the existing storage technologies, including lithium batteries.