Researchers work to improve the capabilities of hydrogen fuel batteries

April 7, 2014 0 By Erin Kilgore

Research team aim to develop more cost effective hydrogen production methods for hydrogen batteries

A team of researchers from the Hydrogen fuel - Savannah River Area have been developing a new way to produce hydrogen fuel in order to make hydrogen batteries less expensive. Hydrogen batteries are used to store gaseous hydrogen for later use and act in a similar fashion to lithium-ion batteries. These batteries could be useful for various purposes, but they have received relatively little attention because they are somewhat less effective than their lithium-ion counterparts.

Funding from the Department of Energy allows research team to make promising progress

The research team is utilizing funding from the Department of Energy in order to develop more effective hydrogen batteries and hydrogen production methods. In the past, hydrogen batteries have largely be reserved for military use, but researchers believe that a new generation of highly efficient and cost effective batteries could find significant success in commercial sectors. Researchers note that these batteries could be used to produce an unending supply of electrical power, as long as they have access to a reliable source of hydrogen fuel.

Aluminum hydride can store hydrogen at greater densities than other materials

Researchers have focused their efforts on aluminum hydride, often referred to as alane, in order to improve the durability of hydrogen batteries. Researchers note that alane is more durable than other materials used for hydrogen storage. Alane has the capability to store hydrogen at higher densities than more conventional materials, which could allow hydrogen batteries to see near-future applications. The problem, however, is that producing aluminum hydride is somewhat expensive, which can make hydrogen batteries unattractive from a financial perspective.

Hydrogen batteries may soon see commercial use

Hydrogen batteries can be used for various purposes. These energy systems have been used to power cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices in the past and have even been used to power some military vehicles. One of the attractive features of these batteries is their use of hydrogen fuel cartridges, which can be easily replaced in order to allow the battery to continue producing electrical power.