Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Oct 25, 2016

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

From ancient fossils to future cars

Oct 21, 2016: Engineers are developing cheap, energy-efficient lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles from silicon in diatomaceous earth. The research could lead to the development of ultra-high capacity lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and portable electronics.

Self-healable battery

Oct 20, 2016: Electronics that can be embedded in clothing are a growing trend. However, power sources remain a problem. Scientists have now introduced thin, flexible, lithium ion batteries with self-healing properties that can be safely worn on the body. Even after completely breaking apart, the battery can grow back together without significant impact on its electrochemical properties.

Safe new storage method could be key to future of hydrogen-powered vehicles

Oct 20, 2016: Hydrogen is often described as the fuel of the future, particularly when applied to hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. One of the main obstacles facing this technology -- a potential solution to future sustainable transport -- has been the lack of a lightweight, safe on-board hydrogen storage material. A major new discovery has shown that hydrocarbon wax rapidly releases large amounts of hydrogen when activated with catalysts and microwaves.

Window into battery life for next-gen lithium cells

Oct 18, 2016: Dendrites, whiskers of lithium that grow inside batteries and can cause fires like those in the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, are the bane of next-generation lithium batteries. While they usually spread under cover of darkness in a closed cell, a team of researchers has spied on them by cutting a window in a battery and filming the dendrites as they grew. Their work could help researchers safely take lithium batteries to the next level.

'Super yeast' has the power to improve economics of biofuels

Oct 17, 2016: Scientists have found a way to nearly double the efficiency with which a commonly used industrial yeast strain converts plant sugars to biofuel. The newly engineered "super yeast" could boost the economics of making ethanol, specialty biofuels and bioproducts.

Hydrail’s “Golden Spike” moment: Berlin, 2016

Oct 12, 2016: by guest blogger, Stan Thompson Hydrail is the term of art for electrifying railways wirelessly by storing electrical energy onboard as hydrogen and reconverting it, via fuel cells, as needed to power electric traction motors. In Berlin, Germany, around noon on September 20, 2016, hydrail had its moment in history, reminiscent of May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, ……

Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

Oct 12, 2016: In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol.

New 3D design for mobile microbatteries

Oct 11, 2016: In the race towards miniaturization, a research team has succeeded in improving the energy density of a rechargeable battery without increasing its size (limited to a few square millimeters in mobile sensors). This feat was achieved by developing a 3D structure made of microtubes, the first step towards producing a complete microbattery. The first experiments have demonstrated the excellent conductivity of the battery's solid electrolyte, report scientists.

Hydrogen-powered passenger ferry in San Francisco Bay is possible, says study

Oct 11, 2016: Researchers set out to answer one not-so-simple question: Is it feasible to build and operate a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells? The answer is yes.

Whoa! It’s National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day, October 8th

Oct 7, 2016: Whoa! It’s National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Day, October 8th     To check out how to celebrate, please go on over to:…

Catalyst structure identified in an operating proton exchange membrane fuel cell

Oct 7, 2016: The structure of the palladium catalyst for hydrogen oxidation in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells has been revealed by scientists. Contrary to current views the results, obtained by applying X-ray spectroscopy under operating conditions, indicate the existence of a hydride phase throughout the operating range.

Harnessing algae for the creation of clean energy

Oct 6, 2016: Researchers have revealed how microalgae produce hydrogen, a clean fuel of the future, and suggest a possible mechanism to jumpstart mass production of this environmentally-friendly energy source.

Organic semiconducting polymers can harvest sunlight to split CO2 into alcohol fuels

Oct 6, 2016: Chemists have been the first to demonstrate that an organic semiconductor polymer called polyaniline is a promising photocathode material for the conversion of carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels without the need for a co-catalyst.

Better view of synthetic fuel production

Sep 23, 2016: Synthetic fuel is cleaner than natural oil, but its production process needs to be more efficient. Now for the first time, physicists have directly observed the molecules produced in the chemical process. This paves the way for designing more efficient catalysts.

Marriage made in sunlight: Invention merges solar with liquid battery

Sep 22, 2016: As solar cells produce a greater proportion of total electric power, a fundamental limitation remains: the dark of night when solar cells go to sleep. Lithium-ion batteries are too expensive a solution to use on something as massive as the electric grid. A professor of chemistry has a better idea: integrating the solar cell with a large-capacity battery.

Popeye was right: There’s energy in that spinach

Sep 22, 2016: Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers have developed a cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. Based on photosynthesis, and technology paves the way for clean fuels from renewable sources.

Inexpensive semiconducting organic polymers can harvest sunlight to split carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels

Sep 20, 2016: Chemists have been the first to demonstrate that an organic semiconductor polymer called polyaniline is a promising photocathode material for the conversion of carbon dioxide into alcohol fuels without the need for a co-catalyst.

More efficient way to split water, produce hydrogen

Sep 19, 2016: Hydrogen is often considered a fuel for the future, in the form of fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines. But finding a practical, inexpensive and nontoxic way to produce large amounts of hydrogen gas -- especially by splitting water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen -- has been a challenge.

New anode material set to boost lithium-ion battery capacity

Sep 19, 2016: A team of researchersclaims to have made yet another step towards finding a solution to accelerate the commercialization of silicon anode for Lithium-ion batteries.

Advancing lithium-air batteries with development of novel catalyst

Sep 15, 2016: A fundamental step forward has been taken in advancing Li-air through the development of mixed metal catalyst that could lead to more efficient electrode reactions in the battery.

Will the Increasing BEV Range Kill the Hydrogen Car?

Sep 13, 2016: There have been a couple of big announcements lately regarding the increased range of BEV (battery electric vehicles). The new Tesla Model S is supposed to have a range of 315 miles and the new Chevy Bolt EV is said to have a range of 238 miles. So, the question of the day is will ……

Proton diffusion discovery a boost for fuel cell technologies

Sep 13, 2016: Scientists have made an important breakthrough which could lead to the design of better fuel cells. They demonstrate how they synthesized nanometer-sized cage molecules that can be used to transport charge in proton exchange membrane (PEM) applications.

Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cells

Sep 12, 2016: Fuel cells have long held promise as power sources, but low efficiency has created obstacles to realizing that promise. Researchers have identified the active form of an iron-containing catalyst for the trickiest part of the process: reducing oxygen gas. The finding could help researchers refine better catalysts, making fuel cells a more energy- and cost-efficient option for powering vehicles and other applications.

Scientists expect to calculate amount of fuel inside Earth by 2025

Sep 9, 2016: Scientists have developed numerous models to predict how much fuel remains inside Earth to drive its engines -- and estimates vary widely -- but the true amount remains unknown. In a new article, a team of geologists and neutrino physicists boldly claims it will be able to determine by 2025 how much nuclear fuel and radioactive power remain in the Earth's tank.

Fuel cell membrane outperforms market: 'Goldilocks' membrane is just about right

Sep 7, 2016: Industrial interest is expected in a vehicular fuel cell membrane able to excrete protons at the most effective temperature ranges, allowing electrons to form an unimpeded electric current.

Wearable integrated thermocells based on gel electrolytes use body heat as power source

Sep 6, 2016: Electronics integrated into textiles are gaining in popularity: Systems like smartphone displays in a sleeve or sensors to detect physical performance in athletic wear have already been produced. The main problem with these systems tends to be the lack of a comfortable, equally wearable source of power. Scientists are now aiming to obtain the necessary energy from body heat. They have now introduced a flexible, wearable thermocell based on two different gel electrolytes.

Printed graphene treated with lasers to enable 'paper electronics'

Sep 1, 2016: Engineers have led development of a laser-treatment process that allows them to use printed graphene for electric circuits and electrodes -- even on paper and other fragile surfaces. The technology could lead to many real-world, low-cost applications for printed graphene electronics, including sensors, fuel cells and medical devices.

New step towards clean energy production from enzymes

Sep 1, 2016: Oxygen inhibits hydrogenases, a group of enzymes that are able to produce and split hydrogen. This degradation is fatal for possible biotechnological applications of these enzymes for the production of clean energy. Understanding the mechanisms of this process is hence essential. An international team of researchers have combined theory and experiment to characterize each chemical reaction step that results in the reduction of oxygen by the enzyme.

Researchers peel back another layer of chemistry with 'tender' X-rays

Aug 31, 2016: Scientists can now directly probe a previously hard-to-see layer of chemistry thanks to a unique X-ray toolkit. A key breakthrough enabling the latest experiment was in tailoring "tender" X-rays--which have an energy range tuned in a middle ground between the typical high-energy (or "hard") and low-energy (or "soft") X-rays used in research--to focus on chemistry within the double layer of a sample electrochemical system.

Flywheel technology could create new savings for light rail transit

Aug 30, 2016: Two engineering professors have examined the use of flywheel technology to store energy generated when light rail transit trains decelerate and stop. Trains such as the LRT used in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, are designed with so-called dynamic braking. The deceleration generates electrical energy, which needs to go somewhere.A flywheel system could store it as mechanical energy. This energy could be converted to electrical energy when the train is ready to leave the station.

Autonomous Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Update

Aug 27, 2016: On May 5, 2015 I posted a blog named “Dude, Where’s My Hydrogen Fuel Cell Driverless Car?” A few months earlier Mercedes teased the public with its concept autonomous f 015 fuel cell vehicle (see photo at top) and this was the first indication that carmakers may want to combine high tech hydrogen fuel cell ……

Development of Silicon-Metal Composite Material for High Capacity Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Batteries

Aug 26, 2016: A research group have developed an anode material for lithium (Li)-ion rechargeable batteries by forming nanoparticles made of silicon (Si)-metal composites on metal substrates. The resulting anode material had high capacity - almost twice as high as conventional materials - and a long cycle life. These results will lead to the development of higher-capacity, longer-life anode materials for Li-ion rechargeable batteries.

Scientists solve puzzle of converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel

Aug 25, 2016: Every year, humans advance climate change and global warming by injecting about 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Scientists believe they've found a way to convert all these emissions into energy-rich fuel in a carbon-neutral cycle that uses a very abundant natural resource: silicon. Readily available in sand, it's the seventh most-abundant element in the universe and the second most-abundant element in the earth's crust.

An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy

Aug 25, 2016: Solar energy can be stored by converting it into hydrogen. But current methods are too expensive and don't last long. Using commercially available solar cells and none of the usual rare metals, researchers have now designed a device that outperforms in stability, efficiency and cost.

Glass: Engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche

Aug 24, 2016: Researchers have new findings on the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions. New understanding of these mechanisms could lead the way to more energy-efficient glass manufacturing, and even glass supercapacitors that leapfrog the performance of batteries now used for electric cars and solar energy.

New class of fuel cells offer increased flexibility, lower cost

Aug 23, 2016: A new class of fuel cells based on a newly discovered polymer-based material could bridge the gap between the operating temperature ranges of two existing types of polymer fuel cells, a breakthrough with the potential to accelerate the commercialization of low-cost fuel cells for automotive and stationary applications.

Study reveals new physics of how fluids flow in porous media

Aug 23, 2016: Detailed lab experiments provide fresh insight into the physics of fluid-fluid displacement in porous media, crucial to applications like carbon dioxide sequestration or fuel cell operation.

New technology may give electric car drivers more miles per minute of charging

Aug 23, 2016: Researchers have designed a thin plastic membrane that stops rechargeable batteries from discharging when not in use and allows for rapid recharging. It could find applications in high powered "supercapacitors" for electric cars and even help prevent the kinds of fires that plagued some models of hoverboards recently.

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics

Aug 23, 2016: A future of soft robots or smart T-shirts may depend on the development of stretchy power sources. But traditional batteries are thick and rigid -- not ideal properties for materials that would be used in tiny malleable devices. In a step toward wearable electronics, a team of researchers has produced a stretchy micro-supercapacitor using ribbons of graphene.

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions

Aug 22, 2016: Researchers have developed a novel nanomaterial that could improve the performance and lower the costs of fuel cells by using fewer precious metals like platinum or palladium.

3D Printing Meets Fuel Cell Tech – the Future is Now

Aug 19, 2016:   Lowering costs and time to market are imperative if fuel cells are to succeed. With the advent of 3D printing, the production of fuel cells seems like a natural fit. In May 2014, I had talked about how DTU Energy Conversion had modified a HP 1000 ink jet printer to print fuel cells rapidly ……

Genetically modified soil bacteria work as electrical wires

Aug 16, 2016: Scientists have genetically modified a common soil bacteria to create electrical wires that not only conduct electricity, but are thousands of times thinner than a human hair.

Solid batteries improve safety

Aug 16, 2016: A new lithium-ion battery made entirely of solid material has been developed by scientists. They report that it contains neither liquids nor gels. The battery cannot ignite, even at very high temperatures, giving it a safety advantage over conventional batteries.

Simulating complex catalysts key to making cheap, powerful fuel cells

Aug 9, 2016: Using a unique combination of advanced computational methods, chemical engineers have demystified some of the complex catalytic chemistry in fuel cells -- an advance that brings cost-effective fuel cells closer to reality.

Strategies needed for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas reduction

Aug 9, 2016: Solutions including electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, vehicle connectivity, and automation are examined.

Synthetic biology: Engineering a chemical switch into a light-driven proton pump

Aug 9, 2016: Synthetic biology is an emerging and rapidly evolving engineering discipline. Now scientists have engineered a chemically switchable version of the light-driven proton pump proteorhodopsin -- an essential tool for efficiently powering molecular factories and synthetic cells.

Using nanotechnology to give fuel cells more oomph

Aug 8, 2016: Applying nanotechnology to fuel cells gives them more oomph, report researchers. The project is part of a $13 million program to advance fuel cell performance and durability and hydrogen storage technologies announced last month.

Lithium-ion batteries: Capacity might be increased by six times

Aug 8, 2016: The capacity of lithium-ion batteries might be increased by six times by using anodes made of silicon instead of graphite. Researchers have observed for the first time in detail how lithium ions migrate into thin films of silicon. It was shown that extremely thin layers of silicon would be sufficient to achieve the maximal load of lithium.

Scientists convert carbon dioxide, create electricity

Aug 4, 2016: Scientists have developed an oxygen-assisted aluminum/carbon dioxide power cell that uses electrochemical reactions to both sequester the carbon dioxide and produce electricity.

Quick-destructing battery to power 'transient' devices

Aug 4, 2016: Scientists have developed a working battery that self-destructs in water. It's part of a field of study called 'transient electronics.' The battery project presented many challenges, including a complex structure and difficulties in fabrication.