Being the core of the dispute between early electric car adopters, hydrogen may be the solution to the electric movement, eventually even beating batteries by cleanliness. The technology behind hydrogen powered cars poses a few issues, though.
Waste vegetable oils have previously been used to fuel older diesel engines, but until now nobody succeeded to extract the hydrogen in them and to sequester the carbon dioxide with cheap and affordable technologies. Leeds University scientists have broken the ice and discovered an energy efficient method of extracting both hydrogen and carbon dioxide from otherwise disposable vegetable oils.
Researchers at Beijing’s Tsinghua University and NTU unveiled the first hydrogen-electric bus that will be from now on Singapore roads. Dubbed GreenLite, this eco-friendly bus only emits clean water and has zero carbon emission. Compared with other conventional buses, GreenLite does not run on fossil fuel and is powered by a combustion engine, which makes it very quiet.
Plane maker Boeing recently launched a hydrogen-powered spy unit that will stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days. Dubbed Phantom Eye, it is one of the most environmentally friendly airplanes available today. According to officials, this unmanned aircraft can carry up to 450 lbs, having a 150-foot wingspan.
Having your hydrogen fuel cell car powered by some solar panels in your own backyard looks like a dream not able to come true in a lifetime for some. For others, this is already a reality and a long-term plan. Honda, GM, Toyota, Mercedes and several other car manufacturers, joined by fuel providers including Shell, look at home-based refueling stations quite seriously and plan to have the first ones implemented in as little as five years.
Sometimes, materials in bulk sizes exhibit properties totally different than when they are sliced in pieces only a few molecules wide. A news report from the MIT says that prof. Yang Shao-Horn and a team of researchers have discovered how a very thin sheet of a material called “strontium-substituted lanthanum cobalt perovskite,” aka LSC, can help solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) produce a lot more electricity from the same amount of fuel.
Horizon, a fuel cell manufacturing company from Singapore, has recently unveiled a small hydrogen fuel cell charger that could juice your gadgets (PDA, phone, MP3, etc). It’s called MiniPAK, and it uses refillable solid-state hydrogen cartridges (called HydroSTIK) to store its power.
Purdue University chemical engineers have invented a method of storing hydrogen and releasing it safely without the need for high-pressure tanks, only by using the fuel cell’s dissipated heat.
Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity when fed with hydrogen, which combines with oxygen and results water. Still, hydrogen fuel cells are expensive due to the catalyst used in the cathode for the reaction known as oxygen reduction. That catalyst is 100% pure platinum, which is a rare and expensive material.
India’s largest bus manufacturer, Ashok Leyland, is going to implement a 6-liter engine that will run on clean natural gas (CNG) enriched with hydrogen, making it the first bus powered by an internal combustion engine aided by hydrogen.
Dr. Georgia Antonopoulou, a biochemical engineer from the University of Patras in Greece, has discovered that whey coming from cheese factories can be used by cultures of bacteria contained in microbial fuel cells to generate electricity. Whey is a lactose-rich organic material, and it is usually disposed.
Fuel cells are indispensable for hydrogen powered cars, and it looks like hydrogen may be the ultimate energy storage that meets all the demands of a clean “fuel” (though it’s only a carrier, not a fuel). Fuel cells, are expensive, though, and their price is due to platinum, which is a rare metal.
Hydrogen, the cleanest energy storage in the Universe, is most of the time associated with high costs, although it is extracted from water, which is the cheapest yet the most precious element to life. Extracting hydrogen from water is done through a method called electrolysis, but doing electrolysis efficiently requires the usage of catalysts such as platinum, which is very expensive.
Daniel Nocera, a face we see more and more often on the stage of alternative energy, along with postdoctoral researcher Mircea Dinca …
A team of researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, has discovered a catalyst metal 70 times cheaper than platinum for use in electrolysis systems, to generate hydrogen from water.