Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Jun 30, 2015

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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.

Honda Says No to Natural Gas and Yes to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Jun 16, 2015: Honda is shifting gears, so to speak, in regard to the building and marketing of their lineup of alternative fuel cars over the next several years. Honda is saying “No” to their Natural Gas Civic which they have been selling since 1998 and they are saying “Yes” to their future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According ...

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.

Hematite 're-growth' smoothes rough edges for clean energy harvest

Jun 16, 2015: By smoothing the surface of hematite, a team of researchers achieved the first 'unassisted' water splitting using the abundant rust-like mineral and silicon to capture and store solar energy within hydrogen gas.

New methane bioreactor produces environmentally friendly energy, mitigates climate change

Jun 16, 2015: A new methane bioreactor boosts environmentally friendly energy to the markets. The reactor stores renewable energy and produces synthetic biomethane with good efficiency. The new technology can help in achieving a carbon-neutral society, developers report.

Buckle up for fast ionic conduction

Jun 15, 2015: Material engineers found that the performance of ion-conducting ceramic membranes that are so important in industry depends largely on their strain and buckling profiles. For the first time, scientists can now selectively manipulate the buckling profile, and thus the physical properties, allowing new technical applications of these membranes.

A protective shield for sensitive catalysts: Hydrogels block harmful oxygen

Jun 15, 2015: An international research team has found a way of protecting sensitive catalysts from oxygen-caused damage. In the future, this could facilitate the creation of hydrogen fuel cells with molecular catalysts or with biomolecules such as the hydrogenase enzyme. To date, this could only be accomplished using the rare and expensive precious metal platinum.

Yes, Google, there is a hydrail

Jun 13, 2015: by guest blogger Stan Thompson Dear Google: “hydrail” is really a word, and has been since at least February of 2004 when it appeared in an invited article in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (volume 29, issue 4, page 438). It was used as early as 2003 in an invited presentation at the US DOT’s ...

Added power for airplane galleys

Jun 11, 2015: The galleys inside airliners voraciously consume power - a vital yet limited resource in a plane. Additional power units may soon come to the rescue: housed inside trolley carts in the galleys, these units deliver both supplemental power and thus uncouple the power to the cabin and the kitchen from that which is supplied to the rest of the aircraft.

Myth: Hydrogen Produced for Cars Offers More Greenhouse Gases than Standard Vehicles

Jun 10, 2015: Over the years I’ve gotten quite a few comments regarding whether or not hydrogen fuel cell cars will contribute more to greenhouse gases (GHG) and global warming than their gasoline counterparts. Hydrogen car delayers and deniers state it as fact that H2 production and FCV’s will contribute more. But I’ve also gotten a number of ...

Engineer creates origami battery, for five cents

Jun 10, 2015: Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, can be used to create beautiful birds, frogs and other small sculptures. Now an engineer says the technique can be applied to building batteries, too.

Diamond-like coatings save fuel

Jun 10, 2015: Coating engine components with hard carbon reduces friction to almost zero – a development that could save billions of liters of fuel worldwide every year. Now researchers have developed a new laser method to apply the coating on the production line.

Nano-raspberries could bear fruit in fuel cells

Jun 10, 2015: Researchers have developed a fast, simple process for making platinum 'nano-raspberries' -- microscopic clusters of nanoscale particles of the precious metal. The berry-like shape is significant because it has a high surface area, which is helpful in the design of catalysts. Even better news for industrial chemists: the researchers figured out when and why the berry clusters clump into larger bunches of 'nano-grapes.'…

How to convert US to 100 percent renewable energy

Jun 9, 2015: It's technically possible for each state to replace fossil fuel energy with entirely clean, renewable energy, experts say. A new report is the first to outline how each of the 50 states can achieve such a transition by 2050. The 50 individual state plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and the ways we currently consume energy, but indicate that the conversion is technically and economically possible through the wide-scale implementation of existing technologies.

Unlocking nanofibers' potential

Jun 5, 2015: Researchers describe a new technique for producing nanofibers that increases the rate of production fourfold while reducing energy consumption by more than 90 percent, holding out the prospect of cheap, efficient nanofiber production.

Clean streets: Innovative hybrid-electric powertrain for road sweepers

Jun 5, 2015: Sweepers keep our pavements, paths and roads clean. For this purpose they are equipped with a powertrain for moving the vehicle, a blower for sucking up the dirt and debris and brushes for cleaning the ground. Researchers have now designed an electric hybrid sweeper. Compared to a conventional diesel-powered road sweeper, the electric hybrid sweeper driven by natural gas consumes less than half as much energy during the standard cycle for sweeping vehicles.

Hydrail commercializing: the 2015 Mooresville conference

Jun 5, 2015: by guest blogger Stan Thompson For ten years now, the Appalachian State University and Mooresville NC originators of the International Hydrail Conference series have predicted, explained and advocated hydrogen railway traction. Now, like a teenager suddenly outgrowing all her clothes, hydrail is coming of age—commercially and with a vengeance! This is the theme of 10-IHC, ...

Myth Hydrogen Fueling Stations are More Dangerous than Gasoline Stations

Jun 4, 2015: Naysayers, critics and fear-mongers have stated over the years that hydrogen gas is so much more dangerous than any other kind of fuel. This group has equated hydrogen cars to Hindenburgs on wheels. They have said that hydrogen fueling stations are to be feared, not used. According to this group, the whole H2 structures can ...

Revolutionary microbe for biofuel production developed

Jun 3, 2015: A revolutionary strain of yeast has been developed by scientists that could help significantly accelerate the development of biofuels from nonfood plant matter.

Platinum Companies Don’t Want Kodak Moment for Fuel Cells

May 30, 2015: According to an article in Reuters, Platinum companies have been investing heavily in fuel cells for the past few years hoping that hydrogen fuel cell cars will take off, increasing demand for the rare metal. The companies are worried that gasoline and diesel hybrids and battery electric cars may thwart the demand for fuel cell ...

New 'designer carbon' boosts battery performance

May 29, 2015: Scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly improves the performance of batteries and supercapacitors.

Hybrid ships will soon be on the market

May 29, 2015: Hybrid cars have been a success. The shipping industry is now moving in the same green direction.

Physicists precisely measure interaction between atoms and carbon surfaces

May 28, 2015: Physicists have conducted the most precise and controlled measurements yet of the interaction between the atoms and molecules that comprise air and the type of carbon surface used in battery electrodes and air filters -- key information for improving those technologies.

Chemists discover key reaction mechanism behind the highly touted sodium-oxygen battery

May 27, 2015: Chemists have discovered the key reaction that takes place in sodium-air batteries that could pave the way for development of the so-called holy grail of electrochemical energy storage.

Twin boundaries in lithium-ion batteries: Turn that defect upside down

May 21, 2015: Most people see defects as flaws. A few researchers, however, see them as opportunities. Twin boundary defects may present an opportunity to improve lithium-ion batteries.

Artificial muscles get graphene boost

May 21, 2015: Researchers have developed an electrode consisting of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon to help make more durable artificial muscles. They are hoping to make a robot that can walk and jump on water like a water strider.

Natural gas versus diesel: Examining the climate impacts of natural gas trucks

May 20, 2015: Some major trucking companies are turning to natural gas to fuel their fleets -- and to earn 'green' credit among customers. But celebrating lower emissions could be premature, according to a recent analysis. Researchers have found that converting heavy-duty trucks to run on natural gas could lead to negative climate impacts if steps are not taken to improve engine efficiency and reduce methane emissions from the fuel's supply chain.

Top 5 Webpages Debunking the Hydrogen Car / Hindenburg Myth

May 19, 2015: The cause of the Hindenburg disaster was most likely a spark to the outer skin of the vessel. This has been well-publicized. Those critics and naysayers who continue to perpetuate the myth that the safety of hydrogen cars are akin to the Hindenburg are either fear-mongering or simply spreading ignorance. So, let’s have a look ...

How microbes acquire electricity in making methane

May 18, 2015: Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that transform electricity and carbon dioxide into methane. The results could pave the way for microbial 'factories' that produce renewable biofuels and chemicals.

Electricity generating nano-wizards

May 18, 2015: Quantum dots are an ideal nanolab to study the means to turning heat into electricity. Just as alchemists always dreamed of turning common metal into gold, their 19th century physicist counterparts dreamed of efficiently turning heat into electricity, a field called thermoelectrics. Such scientists had long known that in conducting materials the flow of energy in the form of heat is accompanied by a flow of electrons. What they did not know at the time is that it takes nanometric-scale systems for the flow of charge and heat to reach a level of efficiency that cannot be achieved with larger scale systems.

Fuel cells: Bringing order to defects and making way for oxygen to move

May 18, 2015: A new metal oxide was discovered whose atomic structure includes highly ordered arrays of missing oxygen atoms. This structure allows oxygen ions to move through the material quickly and easily at low temperatures.

Spanish Researchers Use Plastic to Produce Hydrogen

May 13, 2015: Spanish researchers who are part of the Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group are using high tech plastics plus sunlight to produce hydrogen from water. These plastics are organic in nature and could lead to cheap and abundant hydrogen production. According to Cordis, “One of the main challenges of the project, which will finish in November, ...

Artificial photosynthesis: New, stable photocathode with great potential

May 12, 2015: Scientists have developed a new composite photocathode for generating hydrogen using sunlight. The photocathode consists of a thin film of chalcopyrite coated with a newly developed thin film of titanium dioxide containing platinum nanoparticles. This layer protects the chalcopyrite thin film from corrosion, it acts as a catalyst to speed-up formation of hydrogen even shows photoelectric current density and voltage comparable to those of a chalcopyrite-based thin film solar cell.

Ethanol refining may release more of some pollutants than previously thought

May 5, 2015: Ethanol fuel refineries could be releasing much larger amounts of some ozone-forming compounds into the atmosphere than current assessments suggest, a new study finds. Airborne measurements downwind from an ethanol fuel refinery in Decatur, Illinois, show that ethanol emissions are 30 times higher than government estimates. The measurements also show emissions of all volatile organic compounds, which include ethanol, were five times higher than government numbers, which estimate emissions based on manufacturing information.

Dude, Where’s My Hydrogen Fuel Cell Driverless Car?

May 5, 2015: It’s no secret that driverless cars have been making big news recently. Google, Apple and some of the major automakers have been dipping their toes in the development of autonomous vehicles as of late. But where are all of the hydrogen fuel cell self-driving cars? Sure, the Mercedes Benz F 015 concept car recently blipped ...

Can biodiesel damage your car in colder climates?

May 5, 2015: The oil industry believes biodiesel is not to blame for problems that some car owners are experiencing. But the nature of the fuel means that it has to be handled differently than regular petroleum-based diesel, a researcher says, especially in colder climates or if it is stored for longer periods.

Artificial photosynthesis could help make fuels, plastics and medicine

Apr 29, 2015: The global industrial sector accounts for more than half of the total energy used every year. Now scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry's dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria. The system converts light and carbon dioxide into building blocks for plastics, pharmaceuticals and fuels -- all without electricity.

Lightweight membrane can significantly reduce in-flight aircraft noise

Apr 27, 2015: Riding in a helicopter or airplane can be a noisy experience for passengers. But researchers have developed a membrane that can be incorporated into aircraft to drastically reduce the low-frequency noise that penetrates the cabin.

Cobalt poor and rich lixNi1-yCoyO2 layered materials for lithium ion battery application

Apr 27, 2015: Researchers have conducted a study into the possibility of using new and cost effective compounds in lithium ion battery application.

New insights into ionic liquids

Apr 27, 2015: To directly observe chemical processes in unusual, new materials is a scientific dream, made possible by modern microscopy methods: researchers have, for the first time, captured video images of the attachment of molecules in an ionic liquid onto a submerged electrode. The images from the nanoscale world provide detailed information on the way in which chemical components reorganize when a voltage is applied. New findings based on this information may lead to improved batteries and more energy efficient coating technology or solar engineering.

Highly conductive germanium nanowires made by a simple, one-step process

Apr 23, 2015: For the first time, germanium nanowires have been deposited on indium tin oxide substrate by a simple, one-step process called electrodeposition. The nanowires produced by this method have outstanding electronic properties and can be used as high-capacity anode material for lithium-ion batteries; however, the nanowires were previously too expensive and difficult to produce. This process may resolve the cost issue.

Beyond the lithium ion: Significant step toward a better performing battery

Apr 17, 2015: Researchers have taken a significant step toward the development of a battery that could outperform the lithium-ion technology used in electric cars such as the Chevy Volt. They have shown they can replace the lithium ions, each of which carries a single positive charge, with magnesium ions, which have a plus-two charge, in battery-like chemical reactions, using an electrode with a structure like those in many of today's devices.

Electrolyte genome could be battery game-changer

Apr 15, 2015: A new breakthrough battery -- one that has significantly higher energy, lasts longer, and is cheaper and safer -- will likely be impossible without a new material discovery. And a new material discovery could take years, if not decades, since trial and error has been the best available approach.

Cobalt film a clean-fuel find

Apr 15, 2015: A university lab produces a thin-film catalyst for both hydrogen and oxygen generation. The material could replace expensive metals like platinum in water-electrolysis devices that produce hydrogen and oxygen for fuel cells.

New mathematical method enhances hydrology simulations

Apr 15, 2015: A team applied sophisticated mathematical solutions to fine tune water and energy exchange parameters, numerical stand-ins for complex processes, to more accurately simulate water and energy fluxes in an important model under different conditions.