Alternative Energy

Hydrogen Fuel News

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

Oct 17, 2018

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

New, durable catalyst for key fuel cell reaction may prove useful in eco-friendly vehicles

Oct 16, 2018: A new catalyst exceeds Department of Energy targets for performing the oxygen reduction reaction, a key step in generating an electric current in a hydrogen fuel cell.

A stabilizing influence enables lithium-sulfur battery evolution

Oct 16, 2018: A new approach to making the sulfur cathodes in lithium-sulfur batteries, could preserve their impressive energy density -- clearing a significant hurdle that had blocked their widespread use for more than a decade.

Building a better battery layer by layer

Oct 12, 2018: Scientists are now closer to a thin, high-capacity lithium-ion battery that could open the gates to better energy storage systems for electric vehicles.

Novel use of NMR sheds light on easy-to-make electropolymerized catalysts

Oct 5, 2018: In the world of catalytic reactions, polymers created through electropolymerization are attracting renewed attention. A group of researchers recently provided the first detailed characterization of the electrochemical properties of polyaniline and polyaspartic acid (PASP) thin films. The team used a wide range of tests to characterize the polymers, especially their capacity for catalyzing the oxidation of popularly used materials, hydroquinone and catechol.

New fuel cell concept brings biological design to better electricity generation

Oct 3, 2018: Fuel cells have long been viewed as a promising power source. But most fuel cells are too expensive, inefficient, or both. In a new approach, inspired by biology, a team has designed a fuel cell using cheaper materials and an organic compound that shuttles electrons and protons.

Imaging accumulated charges at solid-electrolyte interfaces

Oct 2, 2018: Researchers have developed a three-dimensional open-loop electric potential microscopy technique to visualize the charge accumulation behavior at the interface between a solid electrode and liquid electrolyte. The technique was used for providing information about the charge distribution at the interface between a copper wire electrode and salt-based electrolyte. This technique increases our ability to probe nanoscale interfacial phenomena, making it useful for research in electronics, electrochemistry, and biology.

Artificial leaf: Highly active organic photocatalyst discovered

Oct 1, 2018: Scientists have synthesized a new organic material that can convert water into hydrogen fuel using sunlight.

Eco-friendly nanoparticles for artificial photosynthesis

Oct 1, 2018: Researchers have developed a nanoparticle type for novel use in artificial photosynthesis by adding zinc sulfide on the surface of indium-based quantum dots. These quantum dots produce clean hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight -- a sustainable source of energy. They introduce new eco-friendly and powerful materials to solar photocatalysis.

Device that integrates solar cell and battery could store electricity outside the grid

Sep 27, 2018: Scientists have harnessed the abilities of both a solar cell and a battery in one device -- a 'solar flow battery' that soaks up sunlight and efficiently stores it as chemical energy for later on-demand use. Their research could make electricity more accessible in remote regions of the world.

Shirtsleeves Hydrail Stations

Sep 26, 2018: by guest blogger Stan Thompson On Sunday, September 16, 2018, at Bremervörde, in the State of Niedersachsen, Germany, I boarded the first intercity hydrail train—my dream since 2003! It was Alstom’s shiny new blue Coradia iLint Hydrogen Multiple Unit light rail train, wireless electric and silent as the wind turbines on the North German horizon ……

Efficient generation of high-density plasma enabled by high magnetic field

Sep 26, 2018: Scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to efficiently heat plasma by focusing a relativistic electron beam (REB) accelerated by a high-intensity short-pulse laser with the application of a magnetic field of 600 tesla (T), about 600 times greater than the magnetic energy of a neodymium magnet (the strongest permanent magnet).

New battery gobbles up carbon dioxide

Sep 21, 2018: New technology could use carbon dioxide captured from power plants to make a new kind of lithium battery.

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 ……