Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Sep 20, 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Super cheap earth element to advance new battery tech to the industry

Sep 19, 2018: Worldwide efforts to make sodium-ion batteries just as functional as lithium-ion batteries have long since controlled sodium's tendency to explode, but not yet resolved how to prevent sodium-ions from 'getting lost' during the first few times a battery charges and discharges. Now, researchers made a sodium powder version that fixes this problem and holds a charge properly.

After 150 years, a breakthrough in understanding the conversion of carbon dioxide to electrofuels

Sep 17, 2018: Using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, engineers have observed how carbon dioxide is activated at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Their finding shifts the catalyst design from trial-and-error paradigm to a rational approach and could lead to alternative, cheaper, and safer renewable energy storage.

Germany Premiers Intercity Hydrail

Sep 17, 2018:   The Mooresville Hydrail Initiative, begun in August, 2003, as an invited  proposal to the US DOT’s Volpe “think tank”, reached its primary goal this morning (17 September 2018) as the first ticketed passengers rode Alstom’s ghostly quiet Coradia iLint trains through Lower Saxony—the world’s first regular intercity hydrail passenger traffic! Stan Thompson (pictured above), the ……

A protective shield for sensitive enzymes in biofuel cells

Sep 17, 2018: Researchers have developed a new mechanism to protect enzymes from oxygen as biocatalysts in fuel cells. The enzymes, known as hydrogenases, are just as efficient as precious metal catalysts, but unstable when they come into contact with oxygen. They are therefore not yet suitable for technological applications. The new protective mechanism is based on oxygen-consuming enzymes that draw their energy from sugar.

A novel approach of improving battery performance

Sep 17, 2018: A team of researchers has introduced a novel technology that promises to significantly boost the performance of lithium metal batteries.

Not too wet, not too dry: Plasma-treated fuel cell gets it just right

Sep 7, 2018: Fuel cells hold promise as a clean, renewable source of energy. But keeping them dry has long been a challenge, as they produce water during the process of converting hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. Now researchers say they may have found a solution: pre-treating the electrode -- a key component of fuel cells -- with ionized oxygen gas, or plasma.

North Carolina pioneering hydrail in USA

Sep 5, 2018: a first step toward bringing hydrail back home by guest blogger, Stan Thompson North Carolina operates its own passenger railway service. The State Department of Transportation has begun plans to modify the locomotives on its line from the State Capital (Raleigh) to the State’s biggest city, (Charlotte) to be powered electrically by hydrogen via fuel ……

New technology improves hydrogen manufacturing

Sep 4, 2018: Researchers have demonstrated high-performance electrochemical hydrogen production at a lower temperature than had been possible before.

Cathode fabrication for oxide solid-state batteries at room temperature

Sep 4, 2018: Researchers have successfully fabricated a lithium trivanadate (LVO) cathode thick film on a garnet-type oxide solid electrolyte using the aerosol deposition method. The LVO cathode thick-film fabricated on the solid electrolyte showed a large reversible charge and discharge capacity as high as 300 mAh/g and a good cycling stability at 100 ºC. This finding may contribute to the realization of highly safe and chemically stable oxide-based all-solid-state lithium batteries.

Catalyst advance could lead to economical fuel cells

Aug 30, 2018: Researchers have developed a new way to make low-cost, single-atom catalysts for fuel cells -- an advance that could make important clean energy technology more economically viable.

Producing hydrogen from splitting water without splitting hairs

Aug 24, 2018: In our energy-hungry society, finding cheaper ways of producing and storing energy is a constant battle. Scientists have now devised a method of using copper as a catalyst in the reaction designed to split water and produce hydrogen in gaseous form.

Chemists make breakthrough on road to creating a rechargeable lithium-oxygen battery

Aug 23, 2018: Chemists have successfully resolved two of the most challenging issues surrounding lithium-oxygen batteries, and in the process created a working battery with near 100 per cent coulombic efficiency. The new work demonstrates that four-electron conversion for lithium-oxygen electrochemistry is highly reversible. The team is the first to achieve four-electron conversion, which doubles the electron storage of lithium-oxygen, also known as lithium-air, batteries.

Improved understanding of industrial electrode processes

Aug 22, 2018: In the industrial production of chlorine, recently special electrodes have been introduced, which consume much less current than conventional systems. The method requires oxygen which is introduced into hot, highly concentrated sodium hydroxide solution, in which it is poorly soluble. It is still unclear how industrial current densities can be achieved under these conditions. Researchers from Bochum and Clausthal have gained new insight into the processes involving these types of electrodes, also referred to as oxygen-depolarised cathodes.

Toward fast-charging solid-state batteries

Aug 20, 2018: There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature.

Battery breakthrough: Doubling performance with lithium metal that doesn't catch fire

Aug 15, 2018: A rechargeable battery technology could double the output of today's lithium ion cells -- drastically extending electric vehicle ranges and time between cell phone charges -- without taking up any added space.

Hydrogen Fueling Station in Mesa Verde, California?

Aug 14, 2018:   A few days ago I posted in my social media channels the idea of putting a hydrogen fueling station in Mesa Verde, California which is on the border with Arizona. I’ve had a couple of fuel cell car drivers contact me who would like to drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix and back and ……

System selectively sequesters toxins from water

Aug 6, 2018: Engineers are developing ionic water-treatment technology that saves money and energy by selectively removing only hazardous contaminants and ignoring those that are harmless. The platform technology could be used to treat drinking water and wastewater from industrial applications like oil and gas wells.

Expanding the limits of Li-ion batteries: Electrodes for all-solid-state batteries

Aug 6, 2018: Scientists have addressed one of the major disadvantages of all-solid-state batteries by developing batteries with a low resistance at their electrode/solid electrolyte interface. The fabricated batteries showed excellent electrochemical properties that greatly surpass those of traditional and ubiquitous Li-ion batteries; thereby, demonstrating the promise of all-solid-state battery technology and its potential to revolutionize portable electronics.

Electric vehicle charging in cold temperatures could pose challenges for drivers

Aug 1, 2018: New research suggests that electric vehicle drivers could face longer charging times when temperatures drop. The reason: cold temperatures impact the electrochemical reactions within the cell, and onboard battery management systems limit the charging rate to avoid damage to the battery.

New electrocatalyst developed for ORR

Jul 31, 2018: Scientists have fabricated a new type of VNQD-NG as nonprecious metal-based electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This has significant practical and commercial applications.

Time for a hydrogen Lindbergh flight

Jul 30, 2018: by guest blogger Stan Thompson (a version of this blog first appeared in my Mooresville Tribune column) Still hanging in the air is the sensationalism smoke (“Oh, the humanity!”) from the 1937 Hindenburg myth. It’s polluted the true hydrogen story for about 80 years too long.  Maybe  it’s time to clear the air by whistling-up ……

3D printing the next generation of batteries

Jul 30, 2018: 3D printing can be used to manufacture porous electrodes for lithium-ion batteries -- but because of the nature of the manufacturing process, the design of these 3D printed electrodes is limited to just a few possible architectures. Until now, the internal geometry that produced the best porous electrodes through additive manufacturing was what's known as an interdigitated geometry -- metal prongs interlocked like the fingers of two clasped hands, with the lithium shuttling between the two sides.

Looking inside the lithium battery's black box

Jul 30, 2018: Researchers report the use of SRS microscopy, a technique widely used in biomedical studies, to explore the mechanism behind dendrite growth in lithium batteries, the first team of material scientists to directly observe ion transport in electrolytes. They were able to see not only why lithium dendrites form but also how to inhibit their growth. Visualizing ion movement could help improve the performance of electrochemical devices, from batteries to fuel cells to sensors.

Liquid microscopy technique reveals new problem with lithium-oxygen batteries

Jul 24, 2018: Using an advanced, new microscopy technique that can visualize chemical reactions occurring in liquid environments, researchers have discovered a new reason lithium-oxygen batteries -- which promise up to five times more energy than the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and cell phones -- tend to slow down and die after just a few charge/discharge cycles.

Hydrogen and plastic production: New catalyst with a dual function

Jul 24, 2018: Chemists have developed a new, low-cost catalyst for plastic production. It turns a biorefinery product into a starting material for the synthesis of plastics, which could represent a sustainable alternative to widespread PET. At the same time, the potential energy source hydrogen can also be formed during the reaction.

Electric car batteries souped-up with fluorinated electrolytes for longer-range driving

Jul 16, 2018: Researchers have figured out how to increase a rechargeable battery's capacity by using aggressive electrodes and then stabilizing these potentially dangerous electrode materials with a highly-fluorinated electrolyte.

Salt is key ingredient for cheaper and more efficient batteries

Jul 9, 2018: A new design of rechargeable battery, created using salt, could lead the way for greener energy. Researchers have designed the novel energy store which allows for greater power while also lasting longer than conventional batteries.

New world record for direct solar water-splitting efficiency

Jul 5, 2018: An international team of researchers has now succeeded in raising the efficiency of producing hydrogen from direct solar water-splitting to a record 19 per cent. They did so by combining a tandem solar cell of III-V semiconductors with a catalyst of rhodium nanoparticles and a crystalline titanium dioxide coating.

Novel hybrid catalyst to split water discovered

Jun 29, 2018: Researchers have reported an inexpensive hybrid catalyst capable of splitting water to produce hydrogen, suitable for large-scale commercialization.

Carbon dioxide-to-methanol process improved by catalyst

Jun 28, 2018: Dramatic improvements have been made to the process of converting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to methanol, a fuel and building block for a wide range of everyday materials, according to researchers.

Synthesis of opium alkaloids using electric current

Jun 28, 2018: Researchers have mastered a nearly 50-year-old challenge of electrosynthetic chemistry -- the electrochemical synthesis of thebaine.

Finding the right balance for catalysts in the hydrogen evolution reaction

Jun 27, 2018: A collaboration has optimized the balance between the catalytic activity in hydrogen generation and stability of metal nanoparticles coated with different numbers of graphene layers. The team found that coating the catalyst nanoparticles with three to five graphene layers provided samples that displayed high catalytic activity in hydrogen evolution as well as high stability in acidic solution. These findings should aid the development of economical processes for large-scale hydrogen production.

BNAs improve performance of Li-ion batteries

Jun 27, 2018: Recent research has investigated the effect of hierarchical Bi2MoO6 nanosheet arrays on the performance of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) and found that it improves the cycle stability and capacity and is expected to be used in portable electronic devices in the future.

Polymer professor develops safer component for lithium batteries

Jun 26, 2018: What would happen if a lithium battery failed in an electric car or a much-needed biomedical device? Polymer scientists are trying to prevent such failures with a new way involving polymer to make lithium batteries safer and perform better.

'Electrogeochemistry' captures carbon, produces fuel, offsets ocean acidification

Jun 25, 2018: Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius will require not only reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, but also active removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This has prompted heightened interest in 'negative emissions technologies.' A new study evaluates the potential for recently described methods that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through an 'electrogeochemical' process that also generates hydrogen gas for use as fuel and creates by-products that can help counteract ocean acidification.

'Workhorse' lithium battery could be more powerful thanks to new design

Jun 25, 2018: Chemical engineers believe there needs to be a battery technology 'revolution.'…

Electron sandwich doubles thermoelectric performance

Jun 20, 2018: Researchers more than doubled the ability of a material to convert heat into electricity, which could help reduce the amount of wasted heat, and thus wasted fossil fuel, in daily activities and industries.

A Triumph In Rome: 13th International Hydrail Conference

Jun 18, 2018: by guest blogger Stan Thompson The University of Rome II at Tor Vergata hosted the Thirteenth International Hydrail Conference the week of June 4, 2018, and it was a delightful success! Professor Stefano Cordiner and his colleagues saw that the Conference ran like a well-oiled clock (Tutto era semplicemente perfetto! Grazie!). The IHC’s have come ……

Tripling the energy storage of lithium-ion batteries

Jun 15, 2018: Scientists have synthesized a new cathode material from iron fluoride that surpasses the capacity limits of traditional lithium-ion batteries.

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

Jun 15, 2018: Graphene electrodes could enable higher quality brain imaging thanks to new research by a team of engineers and neuroscientists. The researchers developed a technique, using platinum nanoparticles, to lower the impedance of graphene electrodes by 100 times while keeping them transparent. In tests on transgenic mice, the electrodes were able to record and image neuronal activity (calcium ion spikes) at of large groups of neurons and individual brain cells.

Turbocharge for lithium batteries

Jun 11, 2018: A team of material researchers has succeeded in producing a composite material that is particularly suited for electrodes in lithium batteries. The nanocomposite material might help to significantly increase the storage capacity and lifetime of batteries as well as their charging speed.

30 percent of the UK's natural gas could be replaced by hydrogen, cutting carbon emissions

Jun 11, 2018: Almost a third of the natural gas fueling UK homes and businesses could be replaced by hydrogen, a carbon free fuel, without requiring any changes to the nation's boilers and ovens.

Lego-like chemical building blocks self-assemble into catalyst for hydrogen fuel cells

May 31, 2018: What's better than platinum? In hydrogen fuel cells, the answer may be cofacial cobalt porphyrins. These self-assembled molecules -- which are great at facilitating a chemical reaction needed to produce power from hydrogen and oxygen -- could be the next advance in alternative energy.

Paving the way for safer, smaller batteries and fuel cells

May 31, 2018: Engineers have found a new and versatile kind of solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) that has twice the proton conductivity of the current state-of-the-art material. Such SPEs are currently found in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells, but the researchers' new design could also be adapted to work for the lithium or sodium-ion batteries found in consumer electronics.

Researchers predict materials to stabilize record-high capacity lithium-ion battery

May 29, 2018: Researchers have found ways to stabilize a new battery with a record-high charge capacity. By adding chromium or vanadium to the lithium-manganese-oxide cathode, the battery could enable smart phones and battery-powered automobiles to last more than twice as long between charges.

Better, faster, stronger: Building batteries that don't go boom

May 29, 2018: Understanding how lithium reacts to pressure developed from charging and discharging a battery could mean safer, better batteries.

Why bioelectrodes for energy conversion are not stable

May 25, 2018: Researchers have discovered why bioelectrodes containing the photosynthesis protein complex photosystem I are not stable in the long term. Such electrodes could be useful for converting light energy into chemical energy in an environmentally friendly way. However, the proteins, which are stable in nature, are not functional in semi-artificial systems in the long term because reactive molecules are formed that damage the photosystem I.

Wood to supercapacitors

May 24, 2018: Carbon aerogels are ultralight, conductive materials, which are extensively investigated for applications in supercapacitor electrodes in electrical cars and cell phones. Scientists have now found a way to make these electrodes sustainably. The aerogels can be obtained directly from cellulose nanofibrils, the abundant cell-wall material in wood.

Advanced biofuels can be produced extremely efficiently, confirms industrial demonstration

May 21, 2018: Researchers have developed new technologies that can be used to convert industrial plants to produce fossil-free heat, electricity, fuel, chemicals and materials. The technical potential is enormous -- using only Sweden's currently existing power plants, renewable fuels equivalent to 10 percent of the world's aviation fuel could be produced.

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds

May 17, 2018: The world is a big place, but it's gotten smaller with the advent of technologies that put people from across the globe in the palm of one's hand. And as the world has shrunk, it has also demanded that things happen ever faster -- including the time it takes to charge an electronic device.