Fuel cells usually need hydrogen to function, or at least a compound containing hydrogen. The rule is the same for the new direct formic acid fuel cells, developed at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, which can use formic acid to power virtually anything from phones to cars.
Not only one time had ethanol been tested as a reliable source of hydrogen. Now, a multi-national team of scientists from Spain, Scotland and New Zealand have devised a method to use ethanol and sunlight to extract hydrogen for use in fuel cells to generate electricity.
Mainly, the objective of the initiative is to encourage and provide funds in the early stages of development to projects that prove conducive to improvements and breakthroughs in the fuel cell field and other technologies relevant to the maritime industry.
According to the company, the station aims to make it easier for scientists to compare the performance of electrode components in fuel cells, which produce energy from fuels like alcohols, hydrogen and hydrocarbons.
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.
Fuel cells can be used in various applications such as spacecraft, remote weather stations, large parks, rural locations, military applications and automotive industry. Fuel cells have hydrogen as the base element for their power.
Bio-chemist David Richardson of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom said that Shewanella is the ideal candidate for environmental-cleanup tasks as it lives in the underground: “Understanding their biochemistry could help to develop strategies to stimulate their activities [at the cleanup sites].”
Daniel G. Nocera of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the inventor of the most important solar energy system of the century. His 2007 designed system is able to create cheap solar energy based on the photosynthesis process.