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Lung-Shaped Fuel Cell Decreases Platinum Usage, Increases Efficiency


The term Biomimetrics refers to objects designed such to imitate the nature, its shapes and working principles, developed for millions of years. It usually means importing the shape of things, such as water droplet-shaped cars, the shape of moth eyes inspiring better solar cells etc.

An interesting case of biomimetrics comes from Norway’s Academy of Science and Letters in Oslo, where Signe Kjelstrup designed a fuel cell having the interior structure similar to that of the lungs. This is a case where both the shape and the function were imported from naturally-developed organisms.

Thus, his fuel cell has a bronchial structure and channels the hydrogen and oxygen to its electrodes much more efficiently, because the process is done in a more uniform manner. By doing things this way, the two gases have a larger contact area within the cell and convert better into energy.

The economic part is even better. Less of the expensive platinum is needed, which could make the hydrogen fuel cells much more attractive than they are right now.

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