South Africa urged to boost R&D of hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells could have prominent future in South Africa South Africa is home to a burgeoning fuel cell industry. The African country is home to the world’s largest supply of platinum, which has been a boon for the emerging industry as most conventional fuel cell technologies rely on this precious material. Usually, attaining platinum is quite expensive, but because South Africa has abundant access to the material, the costs associated with fuel cells in the country are somewhat modest. The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection has released a new…

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Cobalt-graphene material could replace platinum catalysts

Hydrogn Fuel Research

Cobalt-graphene material developed by Brown University researchers Hydrogen fuel cells may be growing in popularity, but they are not likely to become mainstream if their cost is not reduced. Currently, fuel cells are notoriously expensive, largely due to the platinum catalysts they use to generate electricity. Without these catalysts, fuel cells are little more than high-tech paperweights. Platinum is, however, an extremely expensive material, causing the price for fuel cells to soar. Because the energy systems are so promising, researchers from Brown University have been working to solve the problem…

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General Motors to move fuel cell development to Michigan

General Motors Electric Vehicles

General Motors announced shift from New York to Michigan Acclaimed automaker General Motors announced late last week that it will be moving its hydrogen fuel cell research and development program from New York to Michigan. The move is meant to consolidate the company’s efforts in the realm of hydrogen fuel cells and their use in new vehicles. General Motors has been a modest advocate for hydrogen-powered vehicles in recent months. The company has chosen to focus the majority of its effort on the development of efficient fuel cells for these…

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Organic catalysts may provide boost to hydrogen fuel cells

Umea University posts findings on hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cells beginning to break away from platinum and other expensive materials Hydrogen fuel cells receive a great deal of praise for their status as a zero-emissions energy system that can produce large amounts of electrical power. The energy systems are also the subject of harsh criticism regarding their cost. Indeed, the manufacture of hydrogen fuel cells is a costly endeavor. This is due to the use of expensive materials that are used to create the energy systems’ major components. Platinum, for instance, is used to create the catalyst…

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Researchers develop new catalyst material for fuel cells

Hydrogen Fuel Research

IBN scientists create catalyst material that may lead to superior fuel cells Researchers from the Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed a new catalyst material that could be used in the production of more efficient and cost effective fuel cells. The material is believed to be a key component in the manufacture of superior fuel cells. These fuel cells may be able to produce electricity more efficiently and at higher quantities than conventional models. They may also be more affordable than traditional counterparts because of their reduced…

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Acta develops new alkaline electrolyzer that could make hydrogen more viable

Power-to-gas Research

Acta unveils new electrolyzers Italy’s Acta S.p.A, a developer of hydrogen generation systems, has developed a new alkaline membrane electrolyzer that is not reliant on a catalyst made of platinum or iridium. The company suggests that this new electrolyzer could cost only a third as much as more conventional models that rely on catalysts using expensive materials. Acta notes that it has developed the only other electrolyzer that currently exists in the hydrogen market, putting the company in a strong position to have a profound impact on the fuel cell…

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U.S. Army launches new laboratory to study alternative energy

Hydrogen Fuel Research

The U.S. Army is continuing its pursuit of alternative energy with the launching of its new Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory (GDSPEL).  The facility began operation this week and will be responsible for researching advanced military technologies with a focus on energy. Hydrogen fuel cells and hybrid energy systems will get a great deal of attention as the Army has taken a keen interest in these two fields of power recently. The facility sprawls more than 30,000 square feet, in which eight research laboratories and one of the world’s…

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National Physical Laboratory researchers create new electrode to monitor PEM fuel cells

National Physical Laboratory UK

  Researchers from the National Physical Laboratory, in the U.K., have developed a new electrode that can be placed in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells – those commonly used in the auto industry – to monitor their performance. PEM fuel cells were chosen by the auto industry for their performance, being roughly on par with traditional petroleum engines. These types of fuel cells are more prone to corrosion than other fuel cells. Concerns regarding this corrosion could make hydrogen-powered cars unpopular with consumers as replacing a fuel cell would be…

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University of Central Florida researchers create more efficient and affordable fuel cell

Hydrogen Fuel Research

Hydrogen fuel cells are getting a lot of attention, much of it directed by the auto industry. As more people become aware of these energy systems, they are able to point out faults that could make fuel cells unpopular. Thus far, two specific issues are concerning consumers around the world. The first of which is cost. Fuel cells are notorious for their use of expensive materials. The second issue is efficiency. A large number of fuel cells typically do not generate more electricity than they consume. Researchers from the University…

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Brown University researchers use gold atoms to improve hydrogen fuel cells

Renewable Energy Research UK

  In the world of hydrogen energy research and development, nanotechnology has become the primary focus. This technology could have a major impact on how fuel cells work and how expensive they end up being. Hydrogen fuel cells rely on a catalyst that is usually made out of platinum. These catalysts make chemical conversions possible, allowing fuel cells to produce hydrogen gas and then convert that gas into electricity. The adoption of fuel cells has long been held back by the lack of understanding surrounding the metals required for catalysts.…

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Cornell researchers focus on surface defects of fuel cell catalysts to solve the problems of hydrogen energy

Cornell University research in hydrogen fuel cell

Researchers around the world are working on ways to make hydrogen fuel cells a more viable alternative for companies looking to adopt alternative energy. Most of their efforts have been focused on how to improve the catalysts used within fuel cells to generate hydrogen gas. Professor Peng Chen of Cornell University believes that researchers are focusing on the wrong aspects of catalysts and are, therefore, missing solutions that are abundantly clear. Professor Chen believes that researchers should focus on the simple defects seen in current catalysts and resolve these issues…

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Three innovative companies to put the Department of Energy’s interest in alternative energy to the test

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

As the U.S. begins to ramp up its efforts for adopting alternative energy, three major companies renowned in the world of industry are putting the Department of Energy to the test. Vorbeck Materials, makers of grapheme electronics, Iowa Powder Atomization Technologies, producers of titanium powder, and Umpqua Energy, a hydrogen energy company, have teamed to make use of the Department of Energy’s innovative laboratories in the U.S. The three will be conducting experiments with their products of expertise in the hopes of finding ways to make alternative energy more viable…

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Osaka Sangyo University students make their own hydrogen-powered vehicle

Osaka Sangyo University

A small group of students from the Osaka Sangyo University in Japan have built a full-fledged hydrogen-powered vehicle. The project was part of the university’s ongoing research into hydrogen fuel cells and how they could be used in the future. This is the first electric vehicle to be produced in Japan that was not backed by a major company or government agency. What makes the vehicle truly impressive is the fact that it was exceedingly easy to build. Students built the vehicle in their spare time. The vehicle is comprised…

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Report shows that solid oxide fuel cells are growing rapidly in the global market

Diagram of solid oxide fuel cells

A new report concerning the impact of solid oxide fuel cells on the global hydrogen market has been released by BCC Research, a prominent market research firm. The report highlights a number of factors regarding solid oxide fuel cells, detailing their successes in the global market and forecasting what to expect from the future. Solid oxide fuel cells have been growing in popularity within the hydrogen industry lately thanks to their high performance and relatively low cost. The report notes that the value of solid oxide fuel cells worldwide will…

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New tracing method may help companies meet standards for hydrogen purity

Hydrogen Fuel Research

ITM Power, a designer of hydrogen energy fuel systems, has released the results of a new study conducted alongside the National Physical Laboratory in the UK. The study focused around the issue of hydrogen purity. For hydrogen to truly be embraced as a viable alternative to oil there must be standard regarding the purity of the fuel. Given that the minutest trace of impurity within hydrogen molecules could severely impact the performance of the fuel, these standards are necessary to ensure the fuel is uniformly high quality wherever it is…

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New fuel cell uses bacteria, wastewater and salt water to form a self-sustaining fuel system

Hydrogen Research

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University have found a way to produce hydrogen from wastewater without having to rely on grid electricity. The discovery revolves around salt water and accounts for an “inexhaustible” source of hydrogen fuel, according to researchers. Using a microbial fuel cell packed with a certain kind of bacteria, researchers have been able to produce hydrogen through electrolysis using nothing more than wastewater and salt water. The process is entirely carbon-neutral, making it one of the cleanest forms of energy production known to man. Microbial fuel cells…

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