Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Aug 29, 2015

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production

Aug 28, 2015: A new solar fuel generation system, or artificial leaf, safely creates fuel from sunlight and water with record-setting efficiency and stability.

Simulations show why platinum nanoparticles become less effective catalysts at small sizes

Aug 28, 2015: Scientists have used first-principles computer simulations to explain why small platinum nanoparticles are less effective catalysts than larger ones.

Charging a lithium-ion battery efficiently with a solar cell

Aug 27, 2015: Researchers have wired four perovskite solar cells in series to enhance the voltage and directly photo-charged lithium batteries with 7.8 percent efficiency -- the most efficient reported to date, the researchers believe.

1st Commercial Solar-Hydrogen House Created for Consumer in New Jersey

Aug 25, 2015: The first commercially produced consumer solar-hydrogen house has been created in Pennington, New Jersey by hydrogen pioneer, Mike Strizki. The dedication, which is by invitation only, will occur on Patriot Day, September 11, 2015 (however you can ask for an invitation on his website). In 2006, Mr. Strizki built his first hydrogen house at his ...

Scientists find new way to detect ortho–para conversion in water

Aug 25, 2015: New research has found that water molecules react differently to electric fields, which could provide a new way to study spin isomers at the single-molecule level. Water molecules exist in two forms or 'isomers', ortho and para, that have different nuclear spin states. In ortho-water, the nuclear spins are parallel to one another, and in para water, the spins are antiparallel. The conversion of ortho water into para-water and vice-versa is relevant to a broad range of scientific fields from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to astrophysics.

Another milestone in hybrid artificial photosynthesis

Aug 25, 2015: Researchers using a bioinorganic hybrid approach to artificial photosynthesis have combined semiconducting nanowires with select microbes to create a system that produces renewable molecular hydrogen and uses it to synthesize carbon dioxide into methane, the primary constituent of natural gas.

Graphene drives potential for the next-generation of fuel-efficient cars

Aug 21, 2015: Graphene could lead to greener more fuel efficient cars in the future by converting heat into electricity, scientists say. Graphene's range of superlative properties and small size causes the transfer of heat through the material to slow leading to the desired lower operating temperatures.

Laser-burned graphene gains metallic powers

Aug 20, 2015: Chemists embed metallic nanoparticles into laser-induced graphene, turning it into a useful catalyst for fuel cell and other applications.

Using sunlight to recharge the cooling system of trailer containers

Aug 20, 2015: A group of scientists has replaced diesel with kinetic energy, saving up to 20 thousand liters of fuel annually, they say, adding that this includes a series of energetically self-sustained boxes for the transport of perishable goods, with a cooling system that replaced the use of diesel with sunlight and kinetic energy.

Buying an H2 Car in California? – Let These Maps Be Your Guide

Aug 19, 2015: Green Car Reports recently posted an article about how some current hydrogen fuel cell car owners in California are dissatisfied at the experience since several Los Angeles and Orange County demonstration H2 stations are offline. And this is understandable. If you buy or lease a new car you’ll want to fuel up nearby. So, in ...

'Diamonds from the sky' approach turns CO2 into valuable products

Aug 19, 2015: Finding a technology to shift carbon dioxide, the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, from a climate change problem to a valuable commodity has long been a dream. Now, a team of chemists says they have developed a technology to economically convert atmospheric CO2 directly into highly valued carbon nanofibers for industrial and consumer products.

How the Hydrogen Car Debate Has Changed Over the Past 10 Years

Aug 11, 2015: In late 2005, I posted the first pages to my hydrogen cars website and about 6 months later I posted the first pages to the blog. I thought it would be fun and entertaining to take a look back over the past 10-plus years to see how the hydrogen car debate has changed. Back in ...

Copper clusters capture, convert carbon dioxide to make fuel

Aug 7, 2015: The chemical reactions that make methanol from carbon dioxide rely on a catalyst to speed up the conversion, and scientists identified a new material that could fill this role. With its unique structure, this catalyst can capture and convert carbon dioxide in a way that ultimately saves energy.

Pouring fire on fuels at the nanoscale

Aug 7, 2015: There are no magic bullets for global energy needs. But fuel cells in which electrical energy is harnessed directly from live, self-sustaining chemical reactions promise cheaper alternatives to fossil fuels.

'Yolks' and 'shells' improve rechargeable batteries

Aug 5, 2015: One big problem faced by electrodes in rechargeable batteries, as they go through repeated cycles of charging and discharging, is that they must expand and shrink during each cycle -- sometimes doubling in volume, and then shrinking back. This can lead to repeated shedding and reformation of its "skin" layer that consumes lithium irreversibly, degrading the battery's performance over time. Now researchers have found a novel way around that problem: creating an electrode made of nanoparticles with a solid shell, and a "yolk" inside that can change size again and again without affecting the shell.

Hydrogen is the Fuel of the Future and Always Will Be – NOT!

Aug 4, 2015:   There is an old joke that hydrogen (and hydrogen cars) are the future and always will be. The phrasing has changed from one hater, critic or denier to the next, but the sentiment is the same. And I beg to differ on this statement. As I test drove a Mirai fuel cell vehicle (pictured ...

Process concept for a zero-emission route to clean middle-distillate fuels from coal

Aug 4, 2015: A novel process configuration has been developed for producing clean middle-distillate fuels from coal with minimal emissions.

New design brings world's first solar battery to performance milestone

Aug 1, 2015: After debuting the world's first solar air battery last fall, researchers have now reached a new milestone. They report that their patent-pending design -- which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device -- now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries.

Transparent, electrically conductive network of encapsulated silver nanowires

Jul 31, 2015: A transparent electrode with high electrical conductivity has been developed for solar cells and other optoelectronic components -- that uses minimal amounts of material. It consists of a random network of silver nanowires that is coated with aluminium-doped zinc oxide. The novel electrode requires about 70 times less silver than conventional silver grid electrodes, but possesses comparable electrical conductivity.

Research explores future energy security of China

Jul 31, 2015: China needs to reduce its dependence on coal and improve the range of fuels it uses if it is to have long term energy security, according to new research. The study looks at the future of electricity supply in China and the issues it faces in reducing its carbon emissions -- nationally China's electricity sector accounts for more than half its total greenhouse gas emissions.

A cost-effective solution to tuned graphene production

Jul 30, 2015: Graphene has been called the miracle material but the single-atomic layer material is still seeking its place in the materials world. Now a method to make 'defective' graphene could provide the answer. Scientists now report that they have developed a simple electrochemical approach which allows defects to intentionally be created in the graphene, altering its electrical and mechanical properties and making the material even more useful.

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

Jul 29, 2015: Researchers have created the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Development of a functional single-molecule diode is a major pursuit of the electronics industry.

Hydrail Conferences: “Mission 1” Accomplished!

Jul 28, 2015: by guest blogger Stan Thompson The Tenth International Hydrail Conference (“10-IHC”) came home to Mooresville, North Carolina, on June 22-23 and it was a resounding success for a number of reasons. Our twenty presenters were a delightful mix of pros from previous IHCs, academics, railroad professionals, VIPs and Brad Read, President of TIG/m, who built the hydrail ...

Mechanism of an enzyme for biofuel production

Jul 27, 2015: Missing link in microbial cellulose decomposition…

Powerful, efficient ceramic fuel cells could enable in-home production of electricity from natural gas

Jul 24, 2015: The development of affordable and efficient ceramic fuel cells that could be used to power homes is the culmination of five years worth of work, investigators say. The research would enable more efficient use of natural gas for power generation through the use of fuel cells that convert the chemical energy of a fuel source into electrical energy close to where it is used, the authors of a new study explain.

Ultra-thin hollow nanocages could reduce platinum use in fuel cell electrodes

Jul 23, 2015: A new fabrication technique that produces platinum hollow nanocages with ultra-thin walls could dramatically reduce the amount of the costly metal needed to provide catalytic activity in such applications as fuel cells.

Why Not Put Electricity Directly into BEVs Instead of Using It to Create Hydrogen?

Jul 22, 2015:   I occasionally get asked from battery electric vehicle (BEV) advocates about putting electricity directly into BEVs instead of using it to electrolyze water and create hydrogen for FCVs (fuel cell vehicles). Simply put, hydrogen is a better battery. Here are some other reasons to use electricity to produce hydrogen for cars: If you use ...

Boosting gas mileage by turning engine heat into electricity

Jul 22, 2015: Automakers are looking for ways to improve their fleets' average fuel efficiency, and scientists may have a new way to help them. The team reports the development of a material that could convert engine heat that's otherwise wasted into electrical energy to help keep a car running -- and reduce the need for fuels. It could also have applications in aerospace, manufacturing and other sectors.

Fossil fuel emissions will complicate radiocarbon dating

Jul 20, 2015: Fossil fuel emissions could soon make it impossible for radiocarbon dating to distinguish new materials from artefacts that are hundreds of years old.

Nanowires give 'solar fuel cell' efficiency a tenfold boost

Jul 17, 2015: Researchers have developed a very promising prototype of a new solar celll. The material gallium phosphide enables their solar cell to produce the clean fuel hydrogen gas from liquid water. Processing the gallium phosphide in the form of very small nanowires is novel and helps to boost the yield by a factor of ten. And does so using ten thousand times less precious material.

Molecular fuel cell catalysts hold promise for efficient energy storage

Jul 15, 2015: In the quest for better, less expensive ways to store and use energy, platinum and other precious metals play an important role. They serve as catalysts to propel the most efficient fuel cells, but they are costly and rare. Now, a metal-free alternative catalyst for fuel cells may be at hand.

But I Don’t Want to Drive Using Hydrogen!

Jul 15, 2015:   Over the years, I’ve heard more than a few naysayers and critics exclaim, “But, I don’t want to drive using hydrogen!” And my response has been, “I reality, you already are.”   Here are a few facts about driving vehicles and using hydrogen: Hydrogen fuel cell cars use compressed hydrogen gas for fuel Some ...

Are fuel cells environmentally friendly? Not always

Jul 15, 2015: Fuel cells are regarded as the technology of the future for both cars and household heating systems. As a result, they have a key role to play in the switch to renewable energies. But are fuel cells always more environmentally friendly? An international team of scientists performed a series of calculations and reached a conclusion: It depends on the fuel.

New fuel-cell materials pave the way for practical hydrogen-powered cars

Jul 15, 2015: Hydrogen fuel cells promise clean cars that emit only water. Several major car manufacturers have recently announced their investment to increase the availability of fueling stations, while others are rolling out new models and prototypes. However, challenges remain, including the chemistry to produce and use hydrogen and oxygen gas efficiently. Today two research teams report advances on chemical reactions essential to fuel-cell technology.

Clay sheets stack to form proton conductors

Jul 13, 2015: A researcher employs a clay typically used for gardening to develop a proton-conducting, bulk nanostructured material.

Top 20 List of Celebrities Who Have Driven a Hydrogen Car

Jul 11, 2015:   In 1978, Jack Nicholson was one of the first celebrities to drive a hydrogen car (and drink its tailpipe water). Since then there have been other eco-celebrities and notables who have stepped up to the plate and stepped inside an H2 vehicle. Since the published stories across the Internet are a bit scattered in ...

Sensitive and specific: New way of probing electrolyte/electrode interfaces

Jul 9, 2015: Researchers have developed a new technique that enables sensitive and specific detection of molecules at the electrode/electrolyte interface. This new method uses diffraction from graphene gratings to overcome key difficulties associated with traditional optical spectroscopy that employs infrared probing of buried interfaces.

Hastening the dawn of hybrid rocket engines

Jul 8, 2015: Hybrid rocket fuel research by mechanical engineers could hasten the day when a simpler, safer hybrid engine propels space missions.

New lithium ion battery is safer, tougher, and more powerful

Jul 3, 2015: Lithium ion batteries are a huge technological advancement from lead acid batteries which have existed since the late 1850's.  Thanks to their low weight, high energy density and slower loss of charge when not in use, these have become the preferred choice for consumer electronics.  Lithium-ion cells with cobalt cathodes hold twice the energy of a nickel-based battery and four-times that of lead acid.  Despite being a superior consumer battery, lithium-ion batteries still have some drawbacks.  Current manufacturing technology is reaching the theoretical energy density limit for lithium ion batteries and overheating leading to thermal runaway i.e. "venting with flame" is a serious concern.

Effective conversion of methane by a new copper zeolite

Jul 1, 2015: A new bio-inspired zeolite catalyst might pave the way to small scale 'gas-to-liquid' technologies converting natural gas to fuels and starting materials for the chemical industry. Investigating the mechanism of the selective oxidation of methane to methanol they identified a trinuclear copper-oxo-cluster as the active center inside the zeolite micropores.

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage

Jul 1, 2015: Building on a unique idea, scientists have developed a cost-effective new method for converting and storing solar energy into hydrogen.

Taiwan Rolls Out Its 1st Homegrown Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Jun 30, 2015:   National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), of Tainan, Taiwan has today rolled out the country’s first hydrogen fuel cell hybrid car. At present the car is without a name. According to CNA.com, “This new hybrid power system, combined with Li-ion battery and fuel cell, can drive the 7.5 kW light vehicle to the range of ...

Physical study may give boost to hydrogen cars

Jun 30, 2015: A new study of hydrogen storage material magnesium hydride reveals path to better performance, possibly paving way toward better future fuel tanks.

New nanogenerator harvests power from rolling tires

Jun 29, 2015: Engineers have developed a nanogenerator that harvests energy from a car's rolling tire friction.

Analysis shows increased carbon intensity from Canadian oil sands

Jun 26, 2015: Gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands has a higher carbon impact than fuels derived from conventional domestic crude sources, a new study concludes.

Radio Waves and Cheap Catalysts – Hopeful Hydrogen Production Products

Jun 25, 2015: There are two big stories this week in regard to new and promising research into cheap hydrogen production and I want to talk about both of them. In Israel, a startup company called H2Energy Now has developed a method using radio waves to zap water and extract the hydrogen gas. According to the Times of ...

Unlocking fermentation secrets open door to new biofuels

Jun 24, 2015: Researchers have, for the first time, uncovered the complex interdependence and orchestration of metabolic reactions, gene regulation, and environmental cues of clostridial metabolism, providing new insights for advanced biofuel development.

Single-catalyst water splitter produces clean-burning hydrogen 24/7

Jun 23, 2015: Scientists have invented a low-cost water splitter that uses a single catalyst to produce both hydrogen and oxygen gas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The device could provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel for transportation and industry.

New technique for 'seeing' ions at work in a supercapacitor

Jun 22, 2015: A new technique which enables researchers to visualize the activity of individual ions inside battery-like devices called supercapacitors, could enable greater control over their properties and improve their performance in high-power applications.

Benchmarking electrocatalysts for solar water-splitting devices

Jun 16, 2015: Efficiently turning sunlight into storable fuels requires catalysts that convert a maximum amount of solar energy into fuel. A lack of standardized analytic conditions and methods has made objectively comparing catalysts challenging. Scientists standardized measurement techniques to allow a quantitative, objective evaluation of such catalysts.