Rutgers University tackles problem of energy storageOctober 19, 2012
Rutgers University chemists work to find new storage technique for clean energy
It seems that new sources of renewable energy are cropping up every day. While there can be no doubt that the world of clean energy is expanding, there is still a serious problem that could ultimately stop the use of renewable energy entirely. The problem is storage. While there are currently a variety of ways to store electrical power, few of them are suited for the energy generated from a renewable source, such as hydrogen fuel. This problem has prevented the widespread adoption of clean power, but chemists at Rutgers University in New Jersey are hard at work in finding a solution.
Researchers developing processes to produce hydrogen gas
Rutgers University chemists are working to develop new, inexpensive materials that can separate water into its hydrogen and oxygen components. In order for this to be efficient, the process must use as little electricity as possible. The hydrogen generated by this process will be used by a fuel cell to produce electricity. Chemists are currently working on developing a formula that will lead to the efficient storage of this electricity.
Potential energy storage possible through new black powder material
Chemists have created what appears to be a form of black powder. By itself, the powder is benign. When it is applied to a surface which is submerged in water and fed an electrical current, the powder boosts the effectiveness of producing hydrogen gas. The electrical current triggers the process of separating the oxygen and hydrogen molecules that create water and researchers have found that their black powder can make this process exponentially more effective.
Potential energy storage gaining traction in science community
Rutgers University researchers believe that this is a promising method of energy storage. This concept is akin to the notion of storing potential energy. The potential energy of a process, chemical, or other material, represents its untapped electrical power. Potential energy storage is becoming a popular idea because it has, thus far, proven proficient in reducing the costs associated with energy storage.