Posted on 26 June 2011.
The government of the United Kingdom is taking aggressive steps to accelerate the introduction of hydrogen technologies into society. The government has initiated a new program whose purpose is to quicken the adoption of fuel cells throughout the country and make them available for everyday use, accessible to everyone. The program has more than £7.5 million ($12.1 million) in funding, most of which will be used to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen fuel in London.
There are several new developments happening in the world of hydrogen fuel that few are aware of. The initiative, dubbed the Technology Strategy Board, will seek to raise awareness of these developments by showcasing how such renewable technologies can be used to power essential operations that people rely on every day. A portion of the funding available to the project will also be used toward research and development of fuel cell technologies in the effort to stimulate the UK’s hydrogen market.
Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, believes that hydrogen is at the vanguard of a new energy revolution. Barker wants the UK to stand ready for the eventual, worldwide shift toward renewable energies.
The event in which these technologies will be displayed is scheduled for January of 2012. In the meantime, the Technology Strategy Board will be seeding competition amongst
the fuel cell engineering companies present in Europe, hoping to drive the price of fuel cells to new lows so that more people can afford them.
Posted in Featured News, Financial, Industry, International
Posted on 26 April 2011.
The European Union has had plans in place for some time to reduce the number of vehicles powered by oil on city streets. They have been ramping up their efforts, spurred forth by recent advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology, making alternative fuels a more viable options for commercial consumption. Along with the EU’s reinvigorated enthusiasm, the demand for green vehicles is soaring to new heights. Battery powered cars, championed by the Nissan Leaf, lead the charge, but fuel cell vehicles are not far behind.One of the primary drawbacks of hydrogen fuel is the lack of a supply network. There are precious few refueling stations situated all over the world, which is hard to believe when one considers that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the known universe. Without consumers being able to refuel their vehicles when needed, hydrogen powered cars are mostly earthbound.
However, a newly developed technology from Acta, and Italian developer of fuel cell technologies, may reduce the need for refueling stations. Scientists have developed a compact electrolyser that can produce and store highly compressed hydrogen from water. This is much in the same way as any conventional fuel cell, but is much smaller and does not rely on platinum to produce hydrogen.
Nelson Piquet, a legendary Formula One world champion, invited the company to put their technology to use in a joint effort in Brazil as a way to promote the use of alternative fuels.
Acta is also developing a similar product for the U.S. market that is expected to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cell production.
Posted in Featured News, Industry, International
Posted on 24 April 2011.
Hydrogen fuel cells are being used for more than just cars and buses. Researchers at the Oxford University in England have been developing a new fuel cell unit that can fit in a pocket. The fuel cell would be used to charge mobile devices as well as laptops and phones. While other companies have successfully manufactured portable fuel cells, researchers are developing a new hydrogen production method using formic acid.
Formic acid is common in nature. It is most present in the venom of ants and bees, but is used in a number of industries for its preservative properties. Researchers are interested in the acid because it can be stored as a liquid without the need of pressurization, making it easier to store in fuel cells.
Oxford scientists still have a long way to go before their fuel cells are ready for commercial testing. Researchers have already had success using a catalyst made of palladium atoms and silver particles which converts formic acid into hydrogen through a chemical reaction. They believe that this method removes the need for hydrogen to be stored in fuel cells themselves, giving them the ability to create the gas on demand.
This new technology stands to make hydrogen fuel cells more viable for commercial incorporation. As the world continues to look for alternatives to fossil-fuels, hydrogen fuel cells have become a popular solution.
Oxford researchers will continue testing their method, hoping to begin practical testing by 2012.
Posted in Featured News, Research, United States