Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Jan 16, 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Solar fuels: better efficiency using microwires

Jan 15, 2018: Researchers have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. This involves the direct conversion of energy from sunlight into a usable fuel (in this case, hydrogen). Using only earth-abundant materials, they developed the most efficient conversion method to date. The trick was to decouple the site where sunlight is captured from the site where the conversion reaction takes place.

A water-based, rechargeable battery

Jan 9, 2018: In the quest to find safe, low-cost batteries for the future, eventually we have to ask ourselves a question: Why not simply use water as an electrolyte? Water is cheap, in abundant supply, doesn’t burn and can conduct ions. But it has one major drawback: It is only chemically stable up to a voltage of 1.23 volts. In other words, a water cell provides three times less voltage than a customary lithium ion cell with 3.7 volts, which makes it poorly suited for applications in an electric car. A cost-effective, water-based battery, however, could be extremely interesting for stationary electricity storage applications.

Study boosts hope for cheaper fuel cells

Jan 5, 2018: Simulations by scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells.

New lithium-rich battery could last much longer

Jan 4, 2018: By using iron and oxygen to simultaneously drive the electrochemical reaction, a novel battery is less expensive and has a higher capacity.

Exploring electrolysis for energy storage

Jan 2, 2018: A research team developed a flow-type polymer electrolyte cell for power storage. The cell reduces oxalic acid (OX) to glycolic acid, which has a higher volumetric energy-storage capacity than hydrogen gas. Newly fabricated TiO2 cathode enhanced the speed and efficiency of OX reduction. This competitive energy-storage device could be used to balance out the fluctuations in renewable power supplies.

A new strategy for efficient hydrogen production

Dec 26, 2017: Scientists have introduced the Hybrid-SOEC system with highest reported electrochemical performance in hydrogen production.

Alaskan microgrids offer energy resilience and independence

Dec 22, 2017: The electrical grid in the contiguous United States is a behemoth of interconnected systems. If one section fails or is sabotaged, millions of citizens could be without power. Remote villages in Alaska provide an example of how safeguards could build resilience into a larger electrical grid. These communities rely on microgrids -- small, local power stations that operate autonomously.

A catalytic balancing act

Dec 22, 2017: Scientists have recently used a new and counterintuitive approach to create a better catalyst that supports one of the reactions involved in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. By first creating an alloy of two of the densest naturally occurring elements and then removing one, the scientists reshaped the remaining material's structure so that it better balanced three important factors: activity, stability and conductivity.

Halogens can increase solar cell performance by 25 per cent

Dec 20, 2017: New research shows that using halogens -- a class of elements that include fluoride, bromine, chlorine and iodine -- in a dye-sensitized solar cell can increase conversion efficiency by 25 per cent. The discovery could set the stage for improved solar cell designs.

Natural Hydrogen (a New Source of Energy) Seeks Commercial Production & Investors

Dec 19, 2017:   In 2009, geologists discovered a new, previously unknown natural phenomenon: some places on the Earth’s crust were seeping hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is odorless, invisible, tasteless, non-toxic, and, the most important, a very diffusive gas. This may explain why hydrogen in such places was not recognized earlier. This gas seeps out over very wide areas, ……

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

Dec 15, 2017: Carbon capture could help coal plants reduce emissions if economic challenges can be overcome. Turning captured carbon into a useable product is one solution. Scientists have developed an efficient process for turning captured carbon dioxide into syngas that can be used to make fuels and chemicals.

Floating solar fuels rig created for seawater electrolysis

Dec 15, 2017: Chemical engineers have developed a novel photovoltaic-powered electrolysis device that can operate as a stand-alone platform that floats on open water. The floating PV-electrolyzer can be thought of as a 'solar fuels rig' that bears some resemblance to deep-sea oil rigs -- but it would produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water instead of extracting petroleum from beneath the sea floor.

New insight into battery charging supports development of improved electric vehicles

Dec 14, 2017: A new technique provides a unique insight into how the charging rate of lithium ion batteries can be a factor limiting their lifetime and safety.

The wet road to fast and stable batteries

Dec 14, 2017: An international team of scientists has discovered an anode battery material with superfast charging and stable operation over many thousands of cycles.

Sorghum cultivars can produce thousands of gallons of ethanol

Dec 13, 2017: Sweet sorghum is not just for breakfast anymore. Although sorghum is a source for table syrup, scientists see a future in which we convert sorghum to biofuel, rather than relying on fossil fuel.

Converting waste water from dairies to animal feed and aviation fuel

Dec 13, 2017: Scientists have developed a bioprocess that enables conversion of acid whey, a dairy by-product, without the use of additional chemicals. Scientists used microbiome cultures similar to those in the human gut. The new bio-oil can be used in animal feed or, after further refinement, as a fuel for airplanes.

Laser-boron fusion now 'leading contender' for energy

Dec 13, 2017: Scientists argue that the path to hydrogen-boron fusion is now viable, and may be closer to realization than other approaches, such as the deuterium-tritium fusion approach currently being pursued.

Researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces

Dec 12, 2017: New research has identified a major obstacle to advancing solid-state lithium-ion battery performance in small electronics: the flow of lithium ions across battery interfaces.

Scientists discover path to improving game-changing battery electrode

Dec 12, 2017: A comprehensive picture has now been gained of how the same chemical processes that give cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap performance.

Battery research could triple range of electric vehicles

Dec 11, 2017: New research could lead to the development of batteries that triple the range of electric vehicles, report scientists.

Producing hydrogen from methane in a cleaner, cheaper way

Dec 8, 2017: A ceramic membrane makes it possible to produce compressed hydrogen from methane with near-zero energy loss.

Cheap and safe electro-catalysts for fuel cells

Dec 8, 2017: Scientists have produced non-metal electro-catalysts for fuel cells that could pave the way for production of low-cost, environmentally friendly energy generation.

Scientists create stretchable battery made entirely out of fabric

Dec 7, 2017: Scientists have developed an entirely textile-based, bacteria-powered bio-battery that could one day be integrated into wearable electronics.

Hydrogen gas from enzyme production

Dec 6, 2017: Researchers have uncovered a crucial reaction principle of hydrogen-producing enzymes. The scientists investigated the production of molecular hydrogen in single-cell green algae. They were able to demonstrate how the enzyme succeeds in transferring two electrons in succession to two hydrogen ions and thereby assume stable intermediate states.

Turning beer into fuel

Dec 6, 2017: Chemists have made the first steps towards making sustainable fuel using beer as a key ingredient, outlines a new report.

Catalyzing carbon dioxide

Dec 5, 2017: A system that uses renewable electricity to electrochemically transform carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide -- a key commodity used in any number of industrial processes -- has now been developed by scientists.

Hybrid electrolyte enhances supercapacitance in vertical graphene nanosheets

Dec 5, 2017: Supercapacitors can store more energy than and are preferable to batteries because they are able to charge faster, mainly due to the vertical graphene nanosheets that are larger and positioned closer together. Using VGNs as the material for supercapacitor electrodes offers advantages that can be enhanced depending on how the material is grown, treated and prepared to work with electrolytes.

High-rate and long-life lithium-ion battery with improved low-temperature performance through a prelithiation strategy

Dec 5, 2017: When it is cold in winter, cars tend to have starting problems. This is not much better with electric cars, which inevitably lose capacity of their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries at freezing temperatures. Now scientists have offered a strategy to avoid plunging battery kinetics. They have designed a battery system with a cold-enduring hard-carbon anode and a powerful lithium-rich cathode, with the important initial lithiation step integrated.

Superior hydrogen catalyst just grows that way

Dec 5, 2017: A printing process uses natural forces to grow an inexpensive catalyst to replace platinum to lower the cost of hydrogen-powered cars, report researchers.

Highly efficient photocatalyst capable of carbon dioxide recycling

Dec 1, 2017: A research team from Korea has developed titanium dioxide-based photocatalyst with the highest efficiency in the world that converts carbon dioxide into methane. The result is expected to be applied to technologies to reduce and reuse carbon dioxide.

Breakthrough process for directly converting methane to methanol

Nov 30, 2017: The direct oxidation of methane -- found in natural gas -- into methanol at low temperatures has long been a holy grail. Now, researchers have found a breakthrough way to accomplish the feat using a heterogeneous catalyst and cheap molecular oxygen, according to a new article.

Why Baker, California Needs a Hydrogen Fueling Station

Nov 30, 2017:     A couple of months back I wrote two articles titled “1st Interstate H2 Highway in the USA Rolls Out September 2017” and “1st Interstate Hydrogen Highway in USA Inaugurated by Maiden Voyage” which were about a voyage upon an interstate hydrogen highway between southern California and Las Vegas, NV (This was an very ……

Why the future of clean energy storage lies in hydrogen

Nov 29, 2017: As renewable sources of energy like wind and solar gain traction, scientists and engineers are eyeing new ways to store that energy in a cost-efficient manner — laying the groundwork for a future in which renewables rival fossil fuels in powering our homes and vehicles.

'Holy Grail' for batteries: Solid-state magnesium battery a big step closer

Nov 28, 2017: Scientists have discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step towards making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe.

Turning carbon dioxide into fuel and useful chemicals

Nov 27, 2017: Turning pollution into fuel: A new method could be used to transform greenhouse gases into useful fuels and chemicals, right at the power plant.

New batteries with better performance, improved safety

Nov 23, 2017: Currently the most important technology for batteries is the lithium-ion battery technology, but the technology is expensive and contains a flammable liquid. To satisfy the growing demand from emerging markets, researchers have devised a new battery prototype: known as "all-solid-state," this battery has the potential to store more energy while maintaining high safety and reliability levels.

New X-ray spectroscopy explores hydrogen-generating catalyst

Nov 22, 2017: Using a newly developed technique, researchers have identified a key step in production of hydrogen gas by a bacterial enzyme. Understanding these reactions could be important in developing a clean-fuel economy powered by hydrogen.

Bridging the gap: Potentially low-cost, low-emissions technology that can convert methane without forming carbon dioxide

Nov 21, 2017: A potentially low-cost, low-emissions technology has been designed that can convert methane without forming carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen cars for the masses one step closer to reality, thanks to invention

Nov 20, 2017: A new device that can inexpensively and efficiently create and store energy and create hydrogen fuel, and that needs only sunlight to operate, has now been developed by researchers.

The latest poop from the turkey coop

Nov 20, 2017: Treated excrement from turkeys, chickens and other poultry, when converted to combustible solid biomass fuel, could replace approximately 10 percent of coal used in electricity generation, reducing greenhouse gases and providing an alternative energy source, according to a new study.

Electrochemistry opens up novel access to important classes of substances

Nov 17, 2017: Chemists have succeeded in overcoming the problem of electrochemical polymer formation and in developing a sustainable and efficient synthesis strategy for these important products for the first time.

Manganese dioxide shows potential in micromotors

Nov 14, 2017: Manganese dioxide could make the preparation of micromotors increasingly cost-effective, opening up new avenues for their use.

Fuel cell X-ray study details effects of temperature and moisture on performance

Nov 13, 2017: To find the right balance of moisture and temperature in a specialized type of hydrogen fuel cell, scientists have used X-rays to explore the inner workings of its components at tiny scales.

Discarded cigarette butts: The next high performing hydrogen storage material?

Oct 31, 2017: Discarded cigarette butts are a major waste disposal and environmental pollution hazard. But chemists have discovered that cigarette butt-derived carbons have ultra-high surface area and unprecedented hydrogen storage capacity.

Research aims to help renewable jet fuel take flight

Oct 30, 2017: The International Air Transport Association predicts that 7.2 billion passengers will fly in 2035, nearly doubling the 3.8 billion in 2016. So how do we make flying easier on the environment? Instead of petroleum, researchers have now developed new processes to ramp up production of bio-based fuel made from corncobs and wood chips.

Cobalt and tungsten key to cheaper, cleaner hydrogen

Oct 30, 2017: Electrolysis, splitting the water molecule with electricity, is the cleanest way to obtain hydrogen, a clean and renewable fuel. Now, researchers have designed a new catalyst that reduces the cost of electrolytic hydrogen production. Catalysts reduce the amount of electricity needed to break the chemical bonds, speed up the reaction and minimize the energy waste.

New method makes bioethanol from waste -- in existing plants

Oct 30, 2017: It is possible to produce bioethanol from agricultural and industrial waste in existing plants in a socioeconomically sustainable way, according to new research from Sweden.

Microscopic defects make lithium-ion batteries better

Oct 30, 2017: High-performance electrodes for lithium-ion batteries can be improved by paying closer attention to their defects -- and capitalizing on them, according to scientists.

Interview with Jennifer Gangi about the Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition

Oct 26, 2017: Yesterday, I had the pleasure of communicating with Jennifer Gangi (@fuelcellgirl) who is the FCS&EE spokesperson for the upcoming Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (November 7-9, 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California). As I will be attending this year, I was curious about several aspects of the upcoming Seminar ……

It's all about the mix: Plastic and metal-organic frameworks partner for sensing, storage

Oct 25, 2017: A marriage between 3-D printer plastic and a versatile hybrid material for detecting and storing gases could lead to inexpensive sensors and fuel cell batteries alike.