Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

The latest hydrogen fuel cell news from our hydrogen and fuel cell technology news sources.

Feb 23, 2020

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Barriers to development of seawater electrolysis technologies

Feb 19, 2020: Researchers have identified the key technological and scientific challenges of producing hydrogen through seawater electrolysis.

Advance in next-generation lithium metal batteries

Feb 18, 2020: A research team has developed a way to address a major safety issue with lithium metal batteries - an innovation that could make high-energy batteries more viable for next-generation energy storage.

Simple, fuel-efficient rocket engine could enable cheaper, lighter spacecraft

Feb 18, 2020: Researchers have developed a mathematical model that describes how rotating detonation engines work.

New catalyst recycles greenhouse gases into fuel and hydrogen gas

Feb 18, 2020: Scientists have taken a major step toward a circular carbon economy by developing a long-lasting, economical catalyst that recycles greenhouse gases into ingredients that can be used in fuel, hydrogen gas, and other chemicals. The results could be revolutionary in the effort to reverse global warming, according to the researchers.

Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

Feb 18, 2020: Researchers have developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry.

Iodide salts stabilize biocatalysts for fuel cells

Feb 14, 2020: Contrary to theoretical predictions, oxygen inactivates biocatalysts for energy conversion within a short time, even under a protective film. A research team has found out why: Hydrogen peroxide forms on the protective film. The addition of iodide salts to the electrolyte can prevent this from happening and considerably extend the life of the catalysts.

Honda, Isuzu Partnering Up for Fuel Cell Trucks

Feb 11, 2020:   Two auto experts, Honda and Isuzu are working together to research the development of hydrogen fuel cells that could power heavy-duty trucks. This would mean that they could turn some of the most high-emission vehicles into zero-emission vehicles. Given the importance of large trucks for transit and transport today, we need them. But we ……

New method offers more stable, efficient electrocatalytic reactions

Feb 10, 2020: By fluidizing catalyst particles in electrolyte instead of gluing them to electrodes, researchers made electrocatalytic reactions that are more efficient and longer lasting, which play an important role in energy storage.

'Reverse fuel cell' converts waste carbon to valuable products at record rates

Feb 10, 2020: Fuel cells turn chemicals into electricity. Now, an engineering team has adapted technology from fuel cells to do the reverse: harness electricity to make valuable chemicals from waste carbon (CO2).

Using neutrons and X-rays to analyze the aging of lithium batteries

Feb 7, 2020: An international team has used neutron and X-ray tomography to investigate the dynamic processes that lead to capacity degradation at the electrodes in lithium batteries. Using a new mathematical method, it was possible to virtually unwind electrodes that had been wound into the form of a compact cylinder, and thus actually observe the processes on the surfaces of the electrodes.

Water-conducting membrane allows carbon dioxide to transform into fuel more efficiently

Feb 6, 2020: Methanol is a versatile and efficient chemical used as fuel in the production of countless products. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is a greenhouse gas that is the unwanted byproduct of many industrial processes. Converting carbon dioxide to methanol is one way to put carbon dioxide to good use. Chemical engineers have now demonstrated how to make that conversion process more efficient by using a highly effective separation membrane they produced.

Scientists learn more about the first hours of a lithium-ion battery's life

Feb 5, 2020: The first hours of a lithium-ion battery's life largely determine just how well it will perform. In those moments, a set of molecules self-assembles into a structure inside the battery that will affect the battery for years to come. Now scientists have witnessed the formation of the solid-electrolyte interphase at a molecular level.

Fireproof, lightweight solid electrolyte for safer lithium-ion batteries

Feb 5, 2020: Lithium-ion batteries are in everything from cell phones to cars. However, recent incidents involving fires or explosions of these devices show there's a need for safer batteries. One option is to replace the flammable liquid electrolyte with a solid-state electrolyte (SSE). But some of the most-studied SSEs are themselves flammable, leaving the original safety concern unaddressed. Researchers now report that they have developed an SSE that won't burn up.

New electrode design may lead to more powerful batteries

Feb 3, 2020: New research could lead to batteries that can pack more power per pound and last longer, based on the long-sought goal of using pure lithium metal as one of the battery's two electrodes, the anode.

Safe potassium-ion batteries

Jan 31, 2020: Scientists have developed a nonflammable electrolyte for potassium and potassium-ion batteries, for applications in next-generation energy-storage systems beyond lithium technology. Scientists explain that the novel electrolyte based on an organic phosphate makes the batteries safer and also allows for operation at reduced concentrations, which is a necessary condition for large-scale applications.

Monitoring intermediates in CO2 conversion to formate by metal catalyst

Jan 29, 2020: The production of formate from CO2 is considered an attractive strategy for the long-term storage of solar renewable energy in chemical form.

Molecule modification could improve reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel

Jan 29, 2020: The reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel could become safer and more efficient in future after researchers found a way to modify the structure of molecules to remove radioactive materials.

Instant hydrogen production for powering fuel cells

Jan 28, 2020: Researchers investigated real-time, on-demand hydrogen generation for use in fuel cells, which are a quiet and clean form of energy.

Ecofriendly catalyst for converting methane into useful gases using light instead of heat

Jan 27, 2020: Scientists have developed a catalyst to convert abundant methane gas into more useful synthesis gas. Unlike conventional catalysts, this catalyst operates at much lower temperatures by using light, thus saving a tremendous amount of energy in the methane conversion process, and shows much better performance with high stability.

Acetone plus light creates a green jet fuel additive

Jan 23, 2020: Take biomass-derived acetone -- common nail polish remover -- use light to upgrade it to higher-mass hydrocarbons, and, voila, you have a domestically generated product that can be blended with conventional jet fuel to fly while providing environmental benefits, creating domestic jobs, securing the nation's global leadership in bioenergy technologies, and improving U.S. energy security.

Electrochemical method for extracting uranium, and potentially other metal ions, from solution

Jan 22, 2020: Fifty years ago, scientists hit upon what they thought could be the next rocket fuel. Carboranes -- molecules composed of boron, carbon and hydrogen atoms clustered together in three-dimensional shapes -- were seen as the possible basis for next-generation propellants due to their ability to release massive amounts of energy when burned.

Less may be more in next-gen batteries

Jan 22, 2020: Engineers build full lithium-ion batteries with silicon anodes and an alumina layer to protect cathodes from degrading. By limiting their energy density, the batteries promise excellent stability for transportation and grid storage use.

Paris Takes Interest in Natural Hydrogen for Fuel

Jan 18, 2020: For years, talk of being able to turn to hydrogen as an energy source has been seen as a holy grail. The main reason for having doubts about using natural hydrogen as a fuel came from the limits in finding hydrogen that occurs in nature in high purity. However, over time and after much research ……

Not so fast: Some batteries can be pushed too far

Jan 14, 2020: Fast charge and discharge of some lithium-ion batteries with intentional defects degrades their performance and endurance, according to engineers.

Towards sustainability -- from a by-product of the biodiesel industry to a valuable chemical

Jan 8, 2020: Scientists develop a cheap and efficient copper-based catalyst that can be used to convert glycerol, one of the main by-products of the biodiesel industry, into a valuable compound called dihydroxyacetone. In addition, this same process produces hydrogen molecules from water, and these could be used as a clean type of fuel, further highlighting the impact of this research in terms of energy sustainability.

Utilizing relativistic effects for laser fusion: A new approach for clean power

Jan 7, 2020: Researchers have studied a new approach for laser nuclear fusion utilizing relativistic phenomena of intense laser light. By irradiating the ultra-intense laser light directly onto the fusion fuel, the researchers examined signs of heating of fusion fuel. This work may lead to widespread, clean fusion power.

High-performance anode for all-solid-state Li batteries is made of Si nanoparticles

Dec 24, 2019: A new study reveals that, in solid electrolytes, a Si anode composed only of commercial Si nanoparticles prepared by spray deposition -- the method is a cost-effective, atmospheric technique - exhibits excellent electrode performance, which has previously been observed only for film electrodes prepared by evaporation processes. This new result therefore suggests that a low-cost and large-scale production of high-capacity anodes for use in all-solid-state Li batteries is possible.

Could Russia pioneer high-speed hydrail?

Dec 22, 2019: by guest blogger Stan Thompson When Russia and Japan recently exchanged econdev ideas (December 2019) at the ministerial level, two of the specifics discussed were hydrogen production and greater use of the Trans-Siberia Railway. Those two dots, connected with others, could lead to Russia leaping the high speed bump now obstructing the way to wireless fuel cell ……

New aqueous lithium-ion battery improves safety without sacrificing performance

Dec 19, 2019: As the lithium-ion batteries that power most phones, laptops, and electric vehicles become increasingly fast-charging and high-performing, they also grow increasingly expensive and flammable. Engineers have now demonstrated how they could -- by using aqueous electrolytes instead of the typical organic electrolytes -- assemble a substantially safer, cost-efficient battery that still performs well.

New design principle for water-splitting catalysts

Dec 18, 2019: Understanding why platinum is such a good catalyst for producing hydrogen from water could lead to new and cheaper catalysts -- and could ultimately make more hydrogen available for fossil-free fuels and chemicals.

Neutrons optimize high efficiency catalyst for greener approach to biofuel synthesis

Dec 16, 2019: Researchers used neutron scattering in the development of a catalyst that converts biomass into liquid fuel with remarkably high efficiency and provides new possibilities for manufacturing renewable energy-related materials.

Big step in producing carbon-neutral fuel: Silver diphosphide

Dec 16, 2019: A new chemical process does in the lab what trees do in nature -- it converts carbon dioxide into usable chemicals or fuels.

Hydrail versus the Tower of Babel

Dec 12, 2019: by guest blogger Stan Thompson Thank you, Bill Vantuono, for your Railway Age, November 15, 2019, introduction to a long overdue American first:  San Bernardino’s history-making, Stadler-built hydrogen multiple unit or “HMU”.  It’s a bittersweet debut for those of us who worked for years—beginning in 2003—to add hydrail to Kitty Hawk as a North Carolina transportation ……

Pathways toward post-petrochemistry

Dec 11, 2019: Ethylene, or ethene, is a primary feedstock for the chemical industry, including as a starting material for the production of a wide variety of plastics. Scientists have now introduced a new electrochemical technique for selective and energy-efficient production of ethylene from carbon monoxide, which can be obtained from renewable resources and waste.

How light a foldable and long-lasting battery can be

Dec 11, 2019: Engineers have developed a three-dimensional monolithic organic battery electrode.

Detours may make batteries better

Dec 9, 2019: Adding atom-scale defects to battery materials may help them charge faster, theoretical models show.

As China rapidly adopts clean energy, use of traditional stoves persists

Dec 5, 2019: Old habits are hard to break. A new study of replacement of traditional wood and coal burning stoves with clean energy in China suggests that, without a better understanding of the reasons behind people's reluctance to give up traditional stoves, it will be difficult for policies in China and elsewhere in the world to succeed in encouraging this shift towards clean energy.

Scientists devise catalyst that uses light to turn carbon dioxide to fuel

Dec 4, 2019: Scientists have used sunlight and a catalyst largely made of copper to transform carbon dioxide to methanol.

Imaging technique gives catalytic 2D material engineering a better view

Dec 3, 2019: A scanning electrochemical cell imaging technique shows how nanoscale structural features affect the catalytic activity of MoS2 monolayers for hydrogen evolution reactions, report researchers.

Can we just acknowledge the “hydrogen transition”?

Dec 2, 2019: by guest blogger, Stan Thompson Let’s limit the damage to hydrogen progress caused by “friendly fire.” Good reportage, scholarship and fair play do not require that every article point out that most hydrogen comes from extracted carbon. It’s true, it’s undeniable—but it’s totally irrelevant. The vast amounts of hydrogen produced from hydrocarbons to make petrochemicals, ……

Thermo-chemical power generation integrated with forced convection cooling

Nov 27, 2019: Scientists combine forced convection cooling with thermo-electrochemical energy conversion to create a self-sustaining liquid cooling system. A liquid electrolyte is circulated through a cell to cool a hot object, and the reversible chemical reaction in the cell generates a higher electric power than the hydrodynamic pump work required to drive the liquid through the cell. This technology resolves the longstanding unaddressed issue of the loss of free energy component of the thermal energy.

Big trucks, little emissions

Nov 26, 2019: Researchers reveal a new integrated, cost-efficient way of converting ethanol for fuel blends that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

New study analyzes viability of sustainable fuels

Nov 26, 2019: New technology to convert ethanol into fuels suitable for aviation, shipping and other heavy-duty applications can be price-competitive with conventional fuels while retaining the sustainability benefits of bio-based ethanol, according to a new analysis.

New study looks to biological enzymes as source of hydrogen fuel

Nov 25, 2019: Research has chemists one step closer to recreating nature's most efficient machinery for generating hydrogen gas. This new development may help clear the path for the hydrogen fuel industry to move into a larger role in the global push toward more environmentally friendly energy sources.

Redlands, California All in On Hydrail

Nov 24, 2019: I lived in Redlands, California and its neighboring city Mentone for several years so this story hits home for me. I now live 30 minutes away so you can bet I’ll be “all aboard” when this comes to fruition. Now Let’s Talk Hydrogen Trains … Zero emission locomotives have been in operation in Asia and ……

New electrodes could increase efficiency of electric vehicles and aircraft

Nov 22, 2019: The rise in popularity of electric vehicles and aircraft presents the possibility of moving away from fossil fuels toward a more sustainable future. While significant technological advancements have dramatically increased the efficiency of these vehicles, there are still several issues standing in the way of widespread adoption.

Theory of pore-scale transport to enable improved flow batteries

Nov 21, 2019: Redox flow batteries are an emerging technology for electrochemical energy storage that could help enhance the use of power produced by renewable energy resources. Scientists have addressed some of its challenges with a new theory to predict how fluid flow affects the ability of molecules in a flow battery to react at the surfaces of porous electrodes.

Energy research: Economizing on iridium

Nov 20, 2019: Iridium is an ideal catalyst for the electrolytic production of hydrogen from water -- but it is extremely expensive. But now a new kind of electrode made of highly porous material does an excellent job with just a hint of iridium.

Novel Direct Thermal Charging Cell Converts low-grade waste heat to usable electricity

Nov 18, 2019: Engineers can now efficiently convert heat into electricity, creating a huge potential to reduce greenhouse effects by capturing exhaust heat and cutting down primary energy wastage.

From Russia to Charlotte and back: a hydrail odyssey

Nov 16, 2019: by guest blogger Stan Thompson Everything seems to have a Ukraine connection these days. Why not hydrail (H2 fuel cell rail traction)? Per Wikipedia, in 1880, several years before Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, a Ukrainian engineer named Pyotr Pirotsky introduced the world’s first electric “tram” (European for “streetcar”) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Soon Pirotsky connected ……