Is plasma nanoscience the long awaited shift towards hydrogen fuel production needed?April 17, 2011
Nanotechnology is the key to the worldwide incorporation of alternative fueling systems, according to Professor Kostya Ostrikov of the Plasma Nanoscience Center of Australia. The flaws inherent in hydrogen fuel cells can be overcome through the application of plasma nanoscience, he says. The use of nanotechnologies in regards to fuel cells has been a subject of interest for many manufacturers and researchers as nanomaterials have shown the ability to manipulate energy and matter at fundamental levels.
Ostrikov believes that plasma nanoscience, in particular, is holds the most promise for alternative fuel. Many scientists have shied away from plasma because of its often volatile nature. Ostrikov cites existing research that shows plasma can be controlled on a fundamental level, leading to the construction of cost-effective materials that can be used in fuel cells.
Conventional fuel cells come at a high cost. Most units make use of platinum as a key component to their generation of electricity, which puts the fuel cells out of the reach of the public. The common consensus among researchers and manufacturers is that the overall cost of production must be lowered before hydrogen can really be accepted as a viable alternative to oil.
This is leading many to begin experimenting with nanotechnology to create materials that can replace the costly components of fuel cells. Ostrikov is one of the pio
neers in this field, asserting that plasma technology in particular can offer faster, more energy efficient ways of moving “from controlled complexity to practical simplicity.”