Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Sep 21, 2019

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Platinum-graphene fuel cell catalysts show superior stability over bulk platinum

Sep 18, 2019: Films of platinum only two atoms thick supported by graphene could enable fuel cell catalysts with unprecedented catalytic activity and longevity, according to a new study.

Brain-computer interfaces without the mess

Sep 18, 2019: It sounds like science fiction: controlling electronic devices with brain waves. But researchers have developed a new type of electroencephalogram (EEG) electrode that can do just that, without the sticky gel required for conventional electrodes. Even better, the devices work through a full head of hair. The researchers now report on the flexible electrodes, which could someday be used in brain-computer interfaces to drive cars or move artificial limbs.

New lithium battery design could mean lighter, safer batteries for Soldiers

Sep 18, 2019: Less expensive, lighter and safer batteries are a vital need for warfighters; a new project may offer a solution. Researchers have developed a promising new cathode and electrolyte system that replaces expensive metals and traditional liquid electrolyte with lower cost transition metal fluorides and a solid polymer electrolyte.

Measuring ethanol's deadly twin

Sep 16, 2019: Researchers have developed an inexpensive, handheld measuring device that can distinguish between methanol and potable alcohol. It offers a simple, quick method of detecting adulterated or contaminated alcoholic beverages and is able to diagnose methanol poisoning in exhaled breath.

New route to carbon-neutral fuels from carbon dioxide

Sep 16, 2019: A new way to convert carbon dioxide into the building block for sustainable liquid fuels was very efficient in tests and did not have the reaction that destroys the conventional device.

Gem-like nanoparticles of precious metals shine as catalysts

Sep 12, 2019: Researchers have developed a new method for making highly desirable catalysts from metal nanoparticles that could lead to better fuel cells, among other applications. The researchers also discovered the method can take spent catalysts and recycle them into active catalysts. Made mainly of precious metals, these coveted catalysts are shaped like gems. Each particle has 24 different faces that present atoms at the surface in ways that make them more catalytically active than those available commercially.

Stretchy plastic electrolytes could enable new lithium-ion battery design

Sep 9, 2019: Researchers have developed a promising new cathode and electrolyte system that replaces expensive metals and traditional liquid electrolyte with lower cost transition metal fluorides and a solid polymer electrolyte.

Nanoparticles in lithium-sulphur batteries detected with neutron experiment

Sep 6, 2019: A team has for the first time precisely analyed how nanoparticles of lithium sulphide and sulphur precipitate onto battery electrodes during the course of the charging cycle. The results can help increase the service life of lithium-sulphur batteries.

Reactor turns greenhouse gas into pure liquid fuel

Sep 3, 2019: An electrocatalysis reactor built at Rice University recycles carbon dioxide to produce pure liquid fuel solutions using electricity. The scientists behind the invention hope it will become an efficient and profitable way to reuse the greenhouse gas and keep it out of the atmosphere.

Making waves in water desalination

Aug 30, 2019: Researchers are developing new methods of deionizing saltwater.

Researchers use AI to plot green route to nylon

Aug 26, 2019: A team reported that in its search to develop an innovative, environmentally friendly process to make adiponitrile (ADN) -- the main precursor to nylon 6, 6 -- it found a way to greatly improve the efficiency of organic electrosynthesis. The researchers credited their success in part to what they believe is the first use of artificial intelligence to optimize an electrochemical process.

A new way to make valuable chemicals

Aug 26, 2019: A new discovery has advanced the field of carbon capture and utilization. Researchers have formed carbon-nitrogen bonds in an electrochemical carbon monoxide reduction reaction, which led to the production of high-value chemicals called amides, that are useful in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals.

Producing protein batteries for safer, environmentally friendly power storage

Aug 26, 2019: Proteins are good for building muscle, but their building blocks also might be helpful for building sustainable organic batteries that could someday be a viable substitute for conventional lithium-ion batteries, without their safety and environmental concerns. By using synthetic polypeptides and other polymers, researchers have taken the first steps toward constructing electrodes for such power sources.

Main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

Aug 21, 2019: Researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail -- bits of lithium metal deposits break off from the surface of the anode during discharging and are trapped as 'dead' lithium that the battery can no longer cycle. The discovery challenges a long-held belief in the field about lithium metal battery failure. The study presents new ways to boost battery performance, bringing research a step closer to incorporating lithium anodes into rechargeable batteries.

Cost-effective fuel cell technology

Aug 20, 2019: Researchers have identified ammonia as a source for engineering fuel cells that can provide a cheap and powerful source for fueling cars, trucks and buses with a reduced carbon footprint.

Innovative valve train saves 20% fuel

Aug 19, 2019: Scientists have developed an innovative, electrohydraulically actuated valve train for internal combustion engines, that enables completely free adjustment of stroke and timing, while at the same time being robust and cost effective. This valve train was mounted on a serial production engine and has been running successfully for several months. The new technology saves up to 20% fuel.

Microorganisms build the best fuel efficient hydrogen cells

Aug 19, 2019: With billions of years of practice, nature has created the most energy efficient machines. One, [Ne-Fi] hydrogenase, is the oldest in microorganisms and is used for hydrogen metabolism. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, researchers reveal the proton transfer pathway of this enzyme, a discovery expected to contribute to new biofuel cells.

BMW Commits to Commercial Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

Aug 11, 2019: BMW has finally committed to the creation of a commercial hydrogen fuel cell car in the near future. This FC car has been over 2 1/2 decades in the making, with the German car maker working towards this point. Speaking about this was BMW Director of Development, Klaus Frölich, who said: “In the early ‘20s ……

Clearing up the 'dark side' of artificial leaves

Jul 31, 2019: While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide -- a potent greenhouse gas -- out of the atmosphere, there is a 'dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade,' according to a chemical engineer.

Leap toward robust binder-less metal phosphide electrodes for Li-ion batteries

Jul 31, 2019: Researchers have successfully fabricated a binder-less tin phosphide (Sn4P3)/carbon (C) composite film electrode for lithium-ion batteries via aerosol deposition. The Sn4P3/C particles were directly solidified on a metal substrate via impact consolidation, without applying a binder. Charging and discharging cycling stabilities were improved by both complexed carbon and controlled electrical potential window for lithium extraction. This finding could help realize advanced lithium-ion batteries of higher capacity.

3D printed rocket fuel comparison

Jul 30, 2019: Scientists in Australia are using 3D printing to create fuels for rockets, and using tailor-made rocket motors they've built to test the fuels.

A catalyst for sustainable methanol

Jul 29, 2019: Scientists have developed a new catalyst that converts CO2 and hydrogen into methanol. Offering realistic market potential, the technology paves the way for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.

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.