Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Jul 28, 2015

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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, “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.

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, ...

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.

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.