Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Jul 21, 2019

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Bridging the nanoscale gap: A deep look inside atomic switches

Jul 19, 2019: A team of researchers has gained unprecedented insight into the inner workings of an atomic switch. By investigating the composition of the tiny metal 'bridge' that forms inside the switch, their findings may spur the design of atomic switches with improved performance.

Atomically precise models improve understanding of fuel cells

Jul 19, 2019: Simulations from researchers in Japan provide new insights into the reactions occurring in solid-oxide fuel cells by using realistic atomic-scale models of the electrode active site based on microscope observations instead of the simplified and idealized atomic structures employed in previous studies. This better understanding of how the structures in the cells affect the reactions could give clues on ways to improve performance and durability in future devices.

Could the heat of the Earth's crust become the ultimate energy source?

Jul 18, 2019: Scientists have developed a very stable battery cell that can directly convert heat into electricity, thus finally providing a way for exploiting geothermal energy in a sustainable way.

Source of degradation in sodium batteries

Jul 17, 2019: Batteries power our lives: we rely on them to keep our cell phones and laptops buzzing and our hybrid and electric cars on the road. But ever-increasing adoption of the most commonly used lithium-ion batteries may actually lead to increased cost and potential shortages of lithium -- which is why sodium-ion batteries are being researched intensely as a possible replacement. They perform well, and sodium, an alkali metal closely related to lithium, is cheap and abundant.

High-performance sodium ion batteries using copper sulfide

Jul 15, 2019: Researchers presented a new strategy for extending sodium ion batteries' cyclability using copper sulfide as the electrode material. This strategy has led to high-performance conversion reactions and is expected to advance the commercialization of sodium ion batteries as they emerge as an alternative to lithium ion batteries.

Hydrogen Fueling Station Explodes But No One is Hurt

Jul 14, 2019: Hydrogen fueling stations are becoming more and more popular. The fact that one just blew up in Norway, though, might make you think twice about using one (if you are a naysayer). However, one positive to this story is that nobody was hurt. Usually, these stories come with some kind of tragic long-term injury or ……

Fossil fuels increasingly offer a poor return on energy investment

Jul 11, 2019: Researchers have calculated the EROI for fossil fuels over a 16 year period and found that at the finished fuel stage, the ratios are much closer to those of renewable energy sources -- roughly 6:1, and potentially as low as 3:1 in the case of electricity.

No more trial-and-error when choosing an electrolyte for metal-air batteries

Jul 10, 2019: Researchers have developed a one-parameter measure that makes selecting the correct electrolyte for potassium-air batteries an exercise in rationality, rather than patience.

Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

Jul 3, 2019: An interdisciplinary research team has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges

Jul 1, 2019: Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 -- liquefied gas electrolytes - could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries: replacing the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode.

X-ray imaging provides clues to fracture in solid-state batteries

Jun 28, 2019: Researchers have used X-ray computed tomography (CT) to visualize in real time how cracks form near the edges of the interfaces between materials in solid-state batteries. The findings could help researchers find ways to improve the energy storage devices.

Cheaper Fuel Cells for Cars Courtesy University of Waterloo

Jun 23, 2019: The University of Waterloo has done a fine job of coming up with a robust idea for cheaper fuel cell for cars. This could mean that we spend less on fuel cell cars, and get greater efficiency and makie the world a safer, more environmentally-friendly place. According to Xianguo Li (pictured below), the Director of ……

Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries

Jun 19, 2019: Electric cars struggle with extreme temperatures, mainly because of impacts on the electrolyte solutions in their lithium-ion batteries. Now, researchers have developed new electrolytes containing multiple additives that work better over a wide temperature range.

Carbon-neutral fuel made from sunlight and air

Jun 13, 2019: Researchers have developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air. For the first time worldwide they demonstrate the entire thermochemical process chain under real field conditions.

Semi-liquid metal anode for next-generation batteries

Jun 12, 2019: Researchers have developed a semiliquid lithium metal-based anode that represents a new paradigm in battery design. Lithium batteries made using this new electrode type could have a higher capacity and be much safer than typical lithium metal-based batteries that use lithium foil as anode.

New core-shell catalyst for ethanol fuel cells

Jun 7, 2019: Scientists have developed a highly efficient catalyst for extracting electrical energy from ethanol, an easy-to-store liquid fuel that can be generated from renewable resources.

Everything will connect to the internet someday, and this biobattery could help

Jun 4, 2019: In the future, small paper and plastic devices will be able to connect to the internet for a short duration, providing information on everything from healthcare to consumer products, before they are thrown away. Researchers have developed a micro biobattery that could power these disposable sensors.

Plastic water bottles may one day fly people cross-country

Jun 3, 2019: Researchers have melted plastic waste at high temperature with activated carbon, a processed carbon with increased surface area, to produce jet fuel.

Scientists design organic cathode for high performance batteries

May 30, 2019: Researchers have designed a new, organic cathode material for lithium batteries. With sulfur at its core, the material is more energy-dense, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly than traditional cathode materials in lithium batteries.

New path to capturing and upgrading carbon dioxide

May 29, 2019: Engineering researchers have developed a new electrochemical path to transform carbon dioxide into valuable products such as jet fuel or plastics. The technology could significantly improve the economics of capturing and recycling carbon directly from the air.

Major step forward in the production of 'green' hydrogen

May 27, 2019: The first thermodynamically reversible chemical reactor capable of producing hydrogen as a pure product stream represents a 'transformational' step forward in the chemical industry.

Underwater Solar Cells Receive Boost in Making Hydrogen

May 26, 2019: Underwater solar cells are being used to help create cheap hydrogen fuel directly from water. By using the power of the sun, the plan is simple: make sure that we can create hydrogen from sustainable, repeatable, ethical sources. And for many people, that is going to be this new plan that is being put together ……

Finding the cause of capacity loss in a metal-oxide battery material

May 24, 2019: Scientists studying a lithium-ion battery with an iron-oxide electrode as it charged and discharged over 100 cycles found that the loss is due to a buildup of lithium oxide and decomposition of the medium through which lithium ions flow.

Highly flexible high-energy textile lithium battery to cope with surging demand for wearable electronics

May 24, 2019: Researchers have developed a highly flexible, high-energy textile lithium battery that offers more stable, durable and safe energy supply for wearable electronics with a myriad of applications, such as in healthcare monitoring, intelligent textiles, smartphones, global positioning system (GPS) tracking and Internet of Things (IoT).

Mathematically designed graphene has improved electrocatalytic activity

May 24, 2019: An international research group has improved graphene's ability to catalyze the 'hydrogen evolution reaction,' which releases hydrogen as a result of passing an electronic current through water. They designed a mathematically predicted graphene electrocatalyst, and confirmed its performance using high resolution electrochemical microscopy and computational modelling.

Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage

May 23, 2019: One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable energy at a low financial and environmental cost. Engineered electroactive microbes could be part of the solution.

Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels

May 22, 2019: Chemists have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess carbon dioxide to store solar energy -- in the form of chemical bonds -- for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.

Need for rigorous procedures within electrochemical production of ammonia

May 22, 2019: Many experimental studies of electrochemical synthesis of ammonia are flawed. A new study highlights the need for rigorous protocols moving forward.

Charging into the future: novel rock salt for use in rechargeable magnesium batteries

May 22, 2019: By synthesizing novel material for electrode that facilitates reversing of the chemistry of ions, a group of researchers combat the wasteful aspects of energy sources by laying an important foundation for the production of next-generation rechargeable magnesium secondary batteries.

New material could unlock potential for hydrogen powered vehicle revolution

May 15, 2019: An international team of researchers has discovered a new material made from manganese hydride that would be used to make molecular sieves within fuel tanks - which store the hydrogen and work alongside fuel cells in a hydrogen powered 'system'. The material would enable the design of tanks that are far smaller, cheaper, more convenient and energy dense than existing hydrogen fuel technologies, and significantly out-perform battery-powered vehicles.

Electrode's 'hot edges' convert carbon dioxide gas into fuels and chemicals

May 14, 2019: A team of scientists has created a bowl-shaped electrode with 'hot edges' which can efficiently convert carbon dioxide from gas into carbon based fuels and chemicals, helping combat the climate change threat posed by atmospheric carbon dioxide.

New coating could have big implications for lithium batteries

May 14, 2019: Scientists have developed a new cathode coating by using an oxidative chemical vapor deposition technique. The new coating can keep a battery's cathode electrically and ionically conductive and ensures that the battery stays safe after many cycles.

A step for a promising new battery to store clean energy

May 13, 2019: Researchers have built a more efficient, more reliable potassium-oxygen battery, a step toward a potential solution for energy storage on the nation's power grid and longer-lasting batteries in cell phones and laptops.

Underwater power generation

May 13, 2019: Underwater vehicles, diving robots, and detectors require their own energy supply to operate for long periods independent of ships. A new, inexpensive system for the direct electrochemical extraction of energy from seawater offers the advantage of also being able to handle short spikes in power demand, while maintaining longer term steady power. To do so, the system can autonomously switch between two modes of operation.

Methane-consuming bacteria could be the future of fuel

May 9, 2019: Researchers have found that the enzyme responsible for the methane-methanol conversion in methanotrophic bacteria catalyzes the reaction at a site that contains just one copper ion. This finding could lead to newly designed, human-made catalysts that can convert methane -- a highly potent greenhouse gas -- to readily usable methanol with the same effortless mechanism.

Solar-powered hydrogen fuels a step closer

May 9, 2019: A cheaper, cleaner and more sustainable way of making hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight is step closer, thanks to new research.

Clean fuel cells could be cheap enough to replace gas engines in vehicles

May 8, 2019: Advancements in zero-emission fuel cells could make the technology cheap enough to replace traditional gasoline engines in vehicles.

Monitoring the lifecycle of tiny catalyst nanoparticles

May 3, 2019: In order to tailor nanoparticles in such a way that they can catalyze certain reactions selectively and efficiently, researchers need to determine the properties of single particles as precisely as possible. So far, an ensemble of many nanoparticles is analyzed. The problem of these investigations is that the contributions of different particles interfere, so that the properties of individual particles remain concealed. Researchers have now developed a novel method in order to observe single nanoparticles before, during and after an electrochemical reaction.

Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight

Apr 29, 2019: Researchers have created a smart device capable of producing large amounts of clean hydrogen. By concentrating sunlight, their device uses a smaller amount of the rare, costly materials that are required to produce hydrogen, yet it still maintains a high solar-to-fuel efficiency. Their research has been taken to the next scale with a pilot facility installed on the EPFL campus.

Graphene sponge helps lithium sulphur batteries reach new potential

Apr 29, 2019: To meet the demands of an electric future, new battery technologies will be essential. One option is lithium sulfur batteries, which offer a theoretical energy density more than five times that of lithium ion batteries. Researchers recently unveiled a promising breakthrough for this type of battery, using a catholyte with the help of a graphene sponge.

Improving the lifetime of bioelectrodes for solar energy conversion

Apr 26, 2019: The use of proteins involved in the photosynthetic process enables the development of affordable and efficient devices for energy conversion. However, although proteins such as photosystem I are robust in nature, the use of isolated protein complexes incorporated in semi-artificial electrodes is associated with a considerably short long-term stability. Thus, technological application is still limited. Researchers showed that careful operation of the photosystem-based bioelectrode under the exclusion of oxygen is the key for achieving high stability.

A close look at lithium batteries

Apr 24, 2019: To better analyze the causes of malfunctions and premature failure of lithium batteries, researchers have developed a technique that visualizes the distribution of active lithium on the anode and differentiates between dendrites and 'dead' lithium.

New technique produces longer-lasting lithium batteries

Apr 22, 2019: Researchers have developed a new method for safely prolonging battery life by inserting a nano-coating of boron nitride (BN) to stabilize solid electrolytes in lithium metal batteries. The team focused on solid, ceramic electrolytes, which show promise in improving safety and energy density, compared with conventional, flammable electrolytes in Li-ion batteries. Rechargeable solid-state lithium batteries they are promising candidates for next-generation energy storage.

High performance solid-state sodium-ion battery

Apr 19, 2019: Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are far safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers have now reported developing an organic cathode that dramatically improves both stability and energy density.

Through thick and thin: Neutrons track lithium ions in battery electrodes

Apr 19, 2019: Lithium-ion batteries are expected to have a global market value of $47 billion by 2023, but their use in heavy-duty applications such as electric vehicles is limited due to factors such as lengthy charge and discharge cycles. Engineers are examining how the lithium moves in battery electrodes, important in designing batteries that charge and discharge faster.

Better method to recycle and renew used cathodes from lithium-ion batteries

Apr 17, 2019: Researchers have improved their recycling process that regenerates degraded cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries. The new process is safer and uses less energy than their previous method in restoring cathodes to their original capacity and cycle performance.

New discovery makes fast-charging, better performing lithium-ion batteries possible

Apr 16, 2019: Creating a lithium-ion battery that can charge in a matter of minutes but still operate at a high capacity is possible. This development has the potential to improve battery performance for consumer electronics, solar grid storage, and electric vehicles.

The right polymers for the job

Apr 11, 2019: One of the most promising clean energy technologies just got even better. Researchers have developed the most powerful, durable hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell components on record.

Shrinking the carbon footprint of a chemical in everyday objects

Apr 9, 2019: Chemical engineers have devised an alternative approach to synthesizing epoxides, a type of chemical that is found in many products, including plastics, pharmaceuticals and textiles. Their approach could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions produced by current manufacturing techniques.

Graphene coating could help prevent lithium battery fires

Apr 9, 2019: Researchers report that graphene -- wonder material of the 21st century -- may take the oxygen out of lithium battery fires.