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.
MIT researchers, along with their colleagues from the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Japan Institute of Science and Technology have found a method of decreasing the amount of platinum used in DMFCs by increasing the efficiency of the fuel cell’s electrodes. Others have tried to replace the platinum on the cathode with a liquid regenerating catalyst system (catholyte solution).
Fuel cells are usually expensive because they use platinum as a catalyst. To make them more appealing to the market, researchers from the DOE’s National Accelerator Laboratory and the University of Houston, have created a new type of platinum catalyst, reducing the use of the pure metal down to 80 or even 70 percent, thus reducing the overall cost.
Vitalij Pecharsky, a researcher from the U.S. DOE – Ames Laboratory, along with his team, studies the possibility of storing hydrogen at room temperatures, in a recyclable container – just like your car’s reservoir.
A team of researchers from the MIT, led by Professor Angela Belcher, used a modified virus as a biological scaffold for assembling the nanoscale components needed to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The bacterial virus is called “M13″, and it’s said to be harmless.
eHydrogen Solutions, a company specialized in the development of on-demand hydrogen power stations, issued a press release announcing that they launched the “H2-Reactor Development Project”. The H2-Reactor uses water as the hydrogen source, is self-contained and has an alloy of aluminum or magnesium as the reactive material (to get the hydrogen out of the oxygen bond).
A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have just discovered that crystals of zinc oxide, if submerged, absorb its vibrations and act like a piezoelectric material, developing areas of strong negative and positive charges.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a new way to produce hydrogen by using ambient noise to turn water into usable hydrogen fuel. The process harvests small amounts of waste energy in the form of stray vibrations and noise from the environment to break the chemical bonds in water and generate hydrogen and oxygen.
Water oxidation is an essential component for generating hydrogen from water by only using sunlight. Emory University researchers, led by Craig Hill, discovered the most powerful homogeneous catalyst known for oxidizing water, which could lead to successfully replicating the way photosynthesis works, but much more efficiently and controllable.
Today, the commercially available devices powered by fuel cells are still pretty pricey. But Kyoto-based Aquafairy has presented a new range of affordable fuel cells for portable electronic devices.
MIT chemist Dan Nocera claims that with just one bottle of drinking water and four hours of sunlight, he can generate 30 KWh of electric energy, being enough to power an entire home. This process consist in a a cobalt-based catalyst that uses solar energy to split water and produce hydrogen.
Javad Rafiee, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute developed a new method of ultra-efficient hydrogen storage based on graphene.