Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Mar 03, 2015

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Aerogel catalyst shows promise for fuel cells: Unzipped nanotubes turned into possible alternative for platinum

Mar 2, 2015: Aerogels made of graphene nanoribbons and modified with boron and nitrogen are more efficient catalysts for fuel cells and air-metal batteries than expensive platinum is, according to researchers.

Supersonic electrons could produce future solar fuel

Mar 2, 2015: Researchers have taken a step closer to producing solar fuel using artificial photosynthesis. In a new study, they have successfully tracked the electrons’ rapid transit through a light-converting molecule.

Hydrail in Germany: another welcome first

Mar 1, 2015: by guest blogger Stan Thompson About 12 years ago, when I first became interested in what’s now called hydrail (hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and battery railway traction), I caught a glimmer of the idea online from Germany in the State of Schleswig-Holstein. Someone there had seen that wireless electric trains could be powered by wind turbines via hydrogen […]…

Bringing clean energy a step closer

Feb 27, 2015: Researchers have made an inexpensive metal-free catalyst that performs as well as costly metal catalysts at speeding the oxygen reduction reaction in an acidic fuel cell, and is more durable. The catalyst is made of sheets of nitrogen-doped graphene that provides great surface area, carbon nanotubes that enhance conductivity, and carbon black particles that separate the layers allowing the electrolyte and oxygen to flow freely, which greatly increased performance and efficiency.

The biobattery: Turning sewage sludge into electricity and engine oil

Feb 27, 2015: Sewage sludge, green waste, production residue from the food industry, straw or animal excrement – with the biobattery‘s modular concept a much larger range of biomass can be utilized for energy recovery than previously. Researchers show that they can convert organic residues into electricity, heat, purified gas, engine oil and high quality biochar using this process.

Wind-powered freighters

Feb 27, 2015: To make ships more eco-efficient, engineers have been working with alternative fuels. A Norwegian engineer is currently pursuing a new approach: With VindskipTM, he has designed a cargo ship that is powered by wind and gas. Software will ensure an optimum use of the available wind energy at any time.

NanoFlowcell QUANTiNO Water Fuel Cell Car Stuff

Feb 26, 2015: So, is the nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO a hydrogen fuel cell car or not? This may be a tough call. The vehicle doesn’t use a traditional hydrogen fuel cell with compressed H2 gas and oxygen from the air flowing over the polymer exchange membrane (PEM). Instead the nanoFlowcell uses an ionic liquid catalyst in two 175-liter tanks […]…

Dendrite eraser: New electrolyte rids batteries of short-circuiting fibers

Feb 24, 2015: A new electrolyte allows rechargeable batteries to operate well without growing dendrites, tiny pin-like fibers that short-circuit rechargeable batteries.

Renewable energy obtained from wastewater

Feb 24, 2015: Researchers have devised an efficient way to obtain electrical energy and hydrogen by using a wastewater treatment process. The proposed system uses bacteria which consumes the organic material and produces electricity which allows producing hydrogen, the energetic vector of the future. The results point to further developments of this technology at industrial scale.

2 Consumers Criticize the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicle

Feb 19, 2015: It’s true that the Hyundai ix35 Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle has won several awards such as Ward’s 10 Best Engines. But there are also a couple of consumer critics who need to be listened to as well. Ultimately it is the consumers who decide the fate of the hydrogen cars and not those giving the […]…

Better batteries inspired by lowly snail shells

Feb 11, 2015: Researchers have isolated a peptide, a type of biological molecule, which binds strongly to lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNO), a material that can be used to make the cathode in high performance batteries. The peptide can latch onto nanosized particles of LMNO and connect them to conductive components of a battery electrode, improving the potential power and stability of the electrode.

France Fuel Cell Businesses Face Off with Japanese Market

Feb 10, 2015: The French say “in your face” when it comes to introducing fuel cells to the Japanese market. Last month I had talked about 5 plug-in hybrid fuel cell Renault Kangoo ZE vehicles with Symbio FCell Range-Extenders rolling out in France. This month, 3 French fuel cell companies, McPhy, PaxiTech and Atawey (which a way?) will […]…

Bionic leaf: Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel

Feb 9, 2015: Solar energy can be harnessed using electricity from photovoltaic cells to yield hydrogen that can be stored in fuel cells. But hydrogen has failed to catch on as a practical fuel for cars or for power. Converting solar energy into liquid fuel could accelerate its adoption as a power source.

Closer look at flawed studies behind policies used to promote 'low-carbon' biofuels

Feb 5, 2015: Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades.

Halanaerobium Hydrogeninformans Rocks Out H2 Production

Feb 3, 2015: Dr. Melanie Mormile, a researchers at Missouri S&T, has discovered that the extreme bacterium halanaerobium hydrogeninformans can produce large amounts of hydrogen under the right conditions. According to Missouri S&T, “Mormile, an expert in the microbial ecology of extreme environments, wasn’t searching for a bacterium that could produce hydrogen. Instead, she first became interested in […]…

Potential for graphene and other 2D crystals in the energy sector

Feb 3, 2015: Graphene has many potential applications, among them energy generation, conversion and storage. Graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms – and related two-dimensional crystals combine high electrical conductivity with physical flexibility and a huge surface to weight ratio. Such qualities make them suitable for storing electric charge in batteries and supercapacitors, and as catalysts in solar and fuel-cell electrodes.

Hydrogen production in extreme bacterium

Jan 31, 2015: Scientists have discovered a bacterium that can produce hydrogen, an element that one day could lessen the world’s dependence on oil.

Water purification: Running fuel cells on bacteria

Jan 30, 2015: Researchers in Norway have succeeded in getting bacteria to power a fuel cell. The "fuel" used is wastewater, and the products of the process are purified water droplets and electricity. This is an environmentally-friendly process for the purification of water derived from industrial processes and suchlike. It also generates small amounts of electricity – in practice enough to drive a small fan, a sensor or a light-emitting diode. In the future, the researchers hope to scale up this energy generation to enable the same energy to be used to power the water purification process, which commonly consists of many stages, often involving mechanical and energy-demanding decontamination steps at its outset.

Renewable biofuel production avoids competition with food resources

Jan 30, 2015: The efficient production of both biofuel and animal feed from one crop is now possible, and can be done on a farm without the need for off-site processes. The research demonstrates the practical potential of an alternative to fossil fuels that does not compete with food resources.

Renault Kangoo ZE with Symbio FCell Rolls Out

Jan 27, 2015: In France, 5 plug-in hybrid fuel cell Renault Kangoo ZE vehicles have rolled out as part of a rapid launch project aimed at deploying 40 such vehicles. They are calling the fuel cell part of these vehicles “range extenders.” According to the press release on BusinessWire, “Today Symbio FCell announces the launch of five first […]…

'Bulletproof' Battery: Kevlar Membrane for Safer, Thinner Lithium Rechargeables

Jan 27, 2015: New battery technology should be able to prevent the kind of fires that grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013. The innovation is an advanced barrier between the electrodes in a lithium-ion battery.

Converting olive mash into cash

Jan 26, 2015: An experimental system to create heat and power with waste from olive oil processing is up-and-running in Spain. The system shows a promising way forward for reducing environmental damage and converting organic waste to energy, scientists say.

First Toyota Mirai Delivered and Hyundai Cuts Prices

Jan 20, 2015: On January 15, 2015 Toyota delivered its first production Mirai fuel cell vehicle (pictured above) to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Handing off the keys was Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda. Mr. Toyoda is quoted saying, “This is a historic step and I’m truly excited. This will be a long journey, and to make […]…

Perovskites provide big boost to silicon solar cells

Jan 15, 2015: Stacking perovskites onto a conventional silicon solar cell dramatically improves the overall efficiency of the cell, according to a new study.

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion Fuel Cell Vehicle Unveiled

Jan 13, 2015: At the 2015 CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas the Mercedes Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion fuel cell vehicle has been unveiled. This concept vehicle is also a self-driving car. According to Sci-Tech Today, “The F 015 is built from lightweight carbon fiber, aluminum, and high-strength steel. The car is technically a rechargeable […]…

Glass for battery electrodes

Jan 13, 2015: Today's lithium-ion batteries are good, but not good enough if our future energy system is to rely on electrical power. Chemists and materials scientists have now developed a type of glass that can be used as an electrode material in lithium-ion batteries -- likely making a vast improvement in these batteries' capacity and energy density.

Chemist one step closer to a new generation of electric car battery

Jan 12, 2015: An ultra-thin nanomaterial is at the heart of a major breakthrough by scientists who are in a global race to invent a cheaper, lighter and more powerful rechargeable battery for electric vehicles.

Compact batteries enhanced by spontaneous silver matrix formations

Jan 8, 2015: A conductive silver matrix forming inside an otherwise poorly performing battery enhances its efficiency and potential applications. X-rays revealed where, when, and how these nanoscale "bridges" emerge.

Emissions-free cars get closer

Jan 8, 2015: Hydrogen fuel cells -- possibly the best option for emission-free vehicles -- require costly platinum. Nickel and other metals work but aren't nearly as efficient. New findings help pin down the basic mechanisms of the fuel-cell reaction on platinum, which will help researchers create alternative electrocatalysts.

Lexus LS Fuel Cell Limousine in the Works for 2017

Jan 6, 2015: In late 2014, Toyota unveiled its production fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai. Now there is a fairly credible rumor floating that the car company will also unveil its luxury Lexus LS Fuel Cell Limousine in 2017. According to Motoring.com.au, “Like the Mirai, the LS FCEV will employ the Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), but it […]…

New concept of fuel cell for efficiency and environment

Jan 5, 2015: Scientists have proposed a new method to enhance fuel cell efficiency with the simultaneous removal of toxic heavy metal ions.

Preview: hydrail in 2015

Jan 4, 2015: by guest blogger Stan Thompson Long before he was honored with with his own automobile brand, Serbian inventor-engineer Niccola Tesla had an annual tradition of predicting on his birthday the future of technology.  Lesser lights, including myself, use the birthday of the New Year to make predictions. Here are ten for 2015: 2015-1     The announcement last year […]…

There's a familiar ring to this 1966 video of GM's hydrogen ElectroVan

Dec 18, 2014: Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, GM, Toyota, Videos "What we need is fuel cells that can run on a hydrocarbon fuel and air." It can be fun and educational to revisit the past as we look into the future. While we do have cars that plug in today, the first big batch of hydrogen powered vehicles is not yet arrived (but the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell CUV is leading the way). The idea of hydrogen as a promising future technology was also true in 1960s, when General Motors made a promotional movie for the ElectroVan. Turns out, the future then shared more than a little with the future now. As you can see in the short promotional video below for the hydrogen-powered ElectroVan, a modified 1966 GMC HandiVan, a big hurdle in…

Recharge Wrap-up: Honda FCV Concept comes to Detroit, Toyota seeks young green energy fellows

Dec 18, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Detroit Auto ShowHonda will bring its FCV Concept to the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The hydrogen-powered concept made its Japanese debut in November, and will now make its way to North America for the first time. The FCV concept improves upon the design of the FCX Clarity with a more striking appearance and roomier interior. Its smaller powertrain packaging means more space for people, and the FCV Concept seats five passengers. Honda also expects the next-generation fuel-cell car, which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in March 2016, to cost less and have a range of over 300 miles. Read more in the press release below.The Mercedes-Ben…

New Toyota Mirai videos continue questionable hydrogen claims

Dec 18, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Hydrogen, Toyota, AutoblogGreen Exclusive "Toyota engineers were simultaneously working on a brand new technology that met all the driver's needs with an even smaller carbon footprint." Toyota has released a number of new promotional videos for the hydrogen-powered 2016 Mirai. Most are exactly what you'd expect: pretty, full of promise and vaguely informational. But there was one line in the Product Introduction video that caught out ear. In the Product Information video about the Mirai, the narrator goes into a short history of Toyota's green car advances. After talking about the Prius and the Prius Plug In, making EVs for urban commuting and the rest of Toyota's advanced fuel programs, we hear this…

Future batteries: Lithium-sulfur with a graphene wrapper

Dec 16, 2014: What do you get when you wrap a thin sheet of the "wonder material" graphene around a novel multifunctional sulfur electrode that combines an energy storage unit and electron/ion transfer networks? An extremely promising electrode structure design for rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries.

Switching to vehicles powered by electricity from renewables could save lives

Dec 15, 2014: Driving vehicles that use electricity from renewable energy instead of gasoline could reduce the resulting deaths due to air pollution by 70 percent. This finding comes from a new life cycle analysis of conventional and alternative vehicles and their air pollution-related public health impacts. The study also shows that switching to vehicles powered by electricity made using natural gas yields large health benefits.

Nuclear should be in the energy mix for biodiversity

Dec 15, 2014: Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity.

BMW readies EV, hydrogen updates for 2015 Detroit Auto Show

Dec 13, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, BMW, Detroit Auto Show BMW's stand at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show will be the place to go for updates. News about advances in electric vehicle infrastructure, hydrogen fuel cells (maybe) and BMW's suite of connected vehicles app things will all make an appearance at the show next month. Let's start with what we know for sure. Both the i3 and i8 plug-in vehicles are supremely connected cars. A new announcement from BMW (available below) says that the suite of "Now" - ChargeNow, ParkNow and DriveNow - apps will be extended and available internationally. The updates include things like being able to find new new fast-charging stations and ParkNow LongTerm, which will let drivers find a permanent parking space…

Underground hydrogen infrastructure could lower costs

Dec 10, 2014: Filed under: Emerging Technologies, Hydrogen There's a huge international infrastructure dedicated to putting gasoline and diesel fuel into our cars. A nationwide infrastructure for electric vehicles also exists, even if it could be beefed up a bit in some areas. But when it comes to hydrogen cars, the infrastructure hows and wheres and whats don't have complete answers yet. Sandia National Lab says maybe we should be looking underground. The main benefit is that you could store a lot of hydrogen at a very low cost. Yes, salt caverns and "other underground sites" could be just the ticket for storing large amounts of gaseous hydrogen, according to a recent Sandia National Laboratories study ("Geologic storage of hydrogen: Scaling up to meet…

Toyota spending $168 million to make more Mirai fuel cell vehicles

Dec 9, 2014: Filed under: Hydrogen, Manufacturing/Plants, Toyota The last semi-official number we had for pre-orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle was around 200. But demand is strong enough that Toyota is saying that it will spend 20 billion yen ($168 million US) to expand annual production capacity at the "secretive workshop" where the Mirai will be built from 700 in the first year (2015) to around 2,000 after that. Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported the increase and also breaks down where Toyota expects to sell the small number of Mirai vehicles it will make in the first few years: 400 in Japan by the end of 2015, 200 or 300 In the US in 2015 (and then 3,000 by the end of 2017) and between 50 and 100 in Europe annually starting around 2…

Storing hydrogen underground could boost transportation, energy security

Dec 9, 2014: Large-scale storage of low-pressure, gaseous hydrogen in salt caverns and other underground sites for transportation fuel and grid-scale energy applications offers several advantages over above-ground storage, says a recent study.

For Audi, Quattro name means something for hydrogen cars, too

Dec 5, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Audi Forget Dueling Banjos. Audi is proposing "Dueling Motors" for its Audi A7 Sportback H-Tron Quattro concept vehicle. All in the name of appropriate pickup, of course. The German automaker, which showed off the concept sedan at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, is pairing a plug-in electric motor with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Each motor powers two wheels, maintaining the Quattro's all-wheel-drive pedigree. The car's 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery can drive the car as far as 31 miles on battery-power alone. After that, the water-vapor-spewing fuel-cell engine kicks in. Audi executive Ulrich Hackenberg told Automotive News Europe that the unusual set-up is necessary because the hydrogen fuel cell…

Recharge Wrap-up: Canada gets Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell, Washington governor favors EVs

Dec 3, 2014: Filed under: Biodiesel, EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Hyundai, Legislation and PolicyWashington Governor Jay Inslee wants extend tax breaks for EVs past the July 1 expiration date. He also calls for looking into allowing EVs use of carpool lanes and creating charging infrastructure. Inslee sees encouraging electric driving as a way to help mitigate climate change, but detractors within the state don't like the idea of giving priorities to certain drivers. "I'm not enthusiastic about a subsidy that picks winners and losers and doesn't help the middle class," says representative Reuven Carlyle. Read more at The State.Novozymes says it has an enzyme solution, called Eversa, that can make biodiesel from waste oils. The technology converts the vegetable…

Low-grade waste heat regenerates ammonia battery

Dec 3, 2014: An efficient method to harvest low-grade waste heat as electricity may be possible using reversible ammonia batteries, according to engineers. Low-grade waste heat is an artifact of many energy-generating methods. In automobiles, waste heat generated in winter is diverted to run the vehicle heating system, but in the summer, that same waste heat must be dissipated to the environment.

Toward a low-cost 'artificial leaf' that produces clean hydrogen fuel

Dec 3, 2014: For years, scientists have been pursuing 'artificial leaf' technology, a green approach to making hydrogen fuel that copies plants' ability to convert sunlight into a form of energy they can use. Now, one team reports progress toward a stand-alone system that lends itself to large-scale, low-cost production. They created a nanowire mesh design.

Recharge Wrap-up: Japan's new hydrogen rules could help Toyota, New Delhi pollution worse than thought

Dec 2, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Toyota, Tesla MotorsThe European Union is funding Fastned EV fast-charging corridors in Germany. The EU has set aside 2 million euros as part of its Trans-European Transport Networks program for Fastned to build the charging stations along major highways in Germany. The EU plans to help fund a network of 155 fast-charging stations along popular routes in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Holland. Of those, Fastned will build 94 stations in Germany and Holland. Read more in the press release below.Revised hydrogen rules in Japan will make it easier to create hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has created guidelines allowing for liquefied hydrogen at filling stations,…

Toyota has 200 orders for 2016 Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car

Dec 1, 2014: Filed under: Hydrogen, Manufacturing/Plants, Toyota, JapanToyota built 500 Lexus LFA supercars between 2010 and 2012 in what Automotive News has called a "secretive workshop." The automaker has been wondering what to do with that production line since the last LFA rolled off in December 2012 and, like so much else for Toyota these days, the answer is a hydrogen car - and in about the same small numbers. The 200 Mirai orders are "mostly from government and corporate fleets." - Masamoto Maekawa The 2016 Mirai fuel cell vehicle will go into production later this month at the old LFA workshop, which is located behind Toyota's Motomachi assembly plant in Toyota City. The skilled workers there have been doing other things (like building bicycles…

Nissan happy with plug-in vehicles for now, will wait on hydrogen

Nov 30, 2014: Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Hydrogen, Nissan Anyone who's driven the Nissan Leaf knows that it won't set any land speed records. Still, ask Nissan Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga, and the battery-electric vehicle will be miles ahead of any hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for the foreseeable future in Nissan's advanced-powertrain plans. Figuratively, of course. Shiga, speaking in Singapore, elaborated on Nissan's interest in developing a production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, and, to put it bluntly, he said the company didn't have much interest, the Japan Times reports. Sure, Nissan reached an agreement with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and Ford early last year to work together to speed up fuel-cell-vehicle powertrain development. Like Toyota, Honda…

Cleanliness of Toyota Mirai fuel cell exhaust depends on air quality

Nov 29, 2014: Filed under: Hydrogen, Toyota Is the water vapor coming out of Toyota's first production fuel-cell vehicle drinkable? If you're driving through the Sierra Nevadas? Probably. Cruising through Beijing? Not so much.Toyota executive Seiji Mizuno discussed whether the water vapor emitted from the Toyota Mirai is safe enough to drink and, according to Automotive News, the short answer is "yes," since the slightly-acidic vapor has "fewer organic impurities" than milk. The catch, though, is that the vapor immediately gets mixed with the surrounding air. That means that there's always the chance that something funky gets mixed in with the air intake, especially if the Mirai's driving through a smog-infested city. That makes the idea of swigging off…