Cornell researchers devise new method to make metal materials for fuel cells and batteries

Cornell University research in hydrogen fuel cell

Is there a new way to feed hydrogen fuel cell technology? Chemists at Cornell University have developed a new way to make metals that can be used to make catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells and electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. Engineers from the university have created porous metal films using this new method that are 1,000 times more conductive than other metal materials. These metals are comprised of nanostructures that help them catch and utilize chemicals that come their way. Researchers say that this new method has given them higher levels…

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Direct methanol fuel cells could lead to consumer acceptance of hydrogen energy

Verizon solar energy

Alternative energy is becoming a popular subject as more people grow conscious of their impact on the environment. As such, more attention is being drawn to various types of energy systems that have, until recently, been ignored by the community at large. One of these energy systems is direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). These variants of the hydrogen fuel cell were first developed by the Caltech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory with the help of the University of California in 1990. Unlike their hydrogen counterparts, these fuel cells are well suited for…

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Butterfly wings may hold the key to hydrogen fuel cell efficiency

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Researchers from the Shanghai Jiaotong University in China have been working on a way to boost hydrogen fuel production. Their efforts were spurred by the growing demand for hydrogen gas, which has been driven by the increasing popularity of fuel cells. The auto industry has been a champion of fuel cells and hydrogen energy for the past several years and most major car makers will be releasing hydrogen-powered cars in 2013 and 2015. As these vehicles become commonplace, the need for hydrogen fuel is expected to reach critical mass. Researchers…

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GreenCell Inc. launches new stack design for solid oxide fuel cells

Clean Transportation Success

GreenCell Inc., a designer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced that it has completed development of a new fuel cell stack design that will help improve efficiency of hydrogen energy systems. The stack was designed for the company’s UltraTemp-C models, but could conceivably be utilized in the fuel cells from other companies. GreenCell believes that the new stack design will help cut the costs associated with fuel cells. The design will not have a dramatic impact on the cost of production, but will help make maintenance more cost effective. The…

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MIT study indicates that the U.S. can store a century of carbon dioxide emission in underground aquifers

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Hydrogen Fuel Research

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have released a new study that suggests the U.S. can store a massive quantity of its CO2 emissions in underground saline aquifers. Carbon capture and storage is a technological pursuit which attempts to prevent the release of harmful emissions generated by fossil-fuel power plants. This method has been gaining popularity in the realms of alternative energy and environmentalism due to its implications in mitigating or halting the progress of climate change. According to the study, the U.S. has the…

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Virginia Tech researchers create a synthetic jellyfish powered by hydrogen energy

Robojelly Video

Researchers from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute have created a robotic jellyfish called Robojelly. The synthetic jellyfish was created using carbon nanotubes to grant it the same flexibility that its organic counterpart enjoys. The creation exhibits characteristics that make it a prime candidate for underwater search and rescue endeavors and may, one day, fulfill this purpose. One of the most intriguing aspects of Robojelly is that it may never run out of energy. The robotic jellyfish’s “skin” is coated in the same platinum catalyst material that is found in hydrogen fuel…

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory nanoscience researchers experiment with organic electronics, with successful results

Example of organic electronics

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been working at the Department of Energy’s nanoscience laboratory, the Molecular Foundry. These researchers have been experimenting with molecules and other organic material to determine how they can be used for electronic devices. This week, the team succeeded in providing the first ever experimental determination regarding electric charge transfer from molecule-to-molecule. Researchers believe that this development could be used to improve the performance of electronics. Organic electronics typically refers to the use of carbon-based materials in electrical devices. These can be anything…

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UCLA researchers develop new graphene supercapacitors that store massive amounts of energy

Hydrogen Research

Researchers from UCLA have developed a new way to produce supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are the common term referring to electrochemical capacitors. These technologies are capable of storing massive electrical charges and can discharge this energy more quickly than batteries. Supercapacitors are often considered the best form of energy storage currently available, but their production is costly and time consuming. UCLA researchers believe they have solved the problem of cost by using graphene, an allotrope of carbon. By using graphene, researchers have been able to construct affordable supercapacitors that are significantly more…

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California researchers use nanotechnology to make nanotrees

Hydrogen fuel research

Engineers from the University of California San Diego have been experimenting with nanotechnology. Their efforts are largely fueled by last year’s development of the world’s first artificial leaf from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The leaf is capable of perfectly replicating photosynthesis, producing electricity and hydrogen gas by absorbing sunlight. USC researchers are taking the concept of an artificial leaf a step further. They are working to create nanotrees. The artificial trees are meant to mimic plants in their natural environment. The trees are comprised of nanotubes and various other…

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British scientists used printed circuit boards to create fuel cells

Example of Printed circuit board

Scientists from the Imperial College London and the University College London have found a way to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cells. Price has long been a detractor from hydrogen’s appeal as a form of energy. Fuel cells, the machines that turn hydrogen gas into usable electricity, are notoriously expensive. They require costly components in order to operate, none of which are as high-priced as platinum. London scientists believe that there is no need for fuel cells to be so expensive, thanks to printed circuit boards. Researchers believe that…

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Penn State researchers create microbial fuel cell that could bring clean water to impoverished communities around the world

fracking - contaminated water

Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University have created a new fuel cell that could be a great boon for impoverished communities around the world. It is called the microbial reverse electrolysis cell (MRC), and is a kind of microbial fuel cell that generated electricity by consuming hydrogen gas. Penn State researchers believe that their new fuel cell serves a dual purpose of water-treatment and energy generation. As with other hydrogen fuel cells, the MRC creates clean water as a byproduct of energy production, though at much greater quantities than its…

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Mobile energy finds an advocate in myFC, creators of the PowerTrekk energy system

Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Mobile Phones

As the world grows increasingly mobile, the need for mobile energy systems is getting more attention. Swedish technology firm myFC has created a system it believes could solve the problem. The company has created a mobile hydrogen fuel cell that can provide electricity for mobile devices and other electronics. It is called PowerTrekk and is roughly the size of a hockey puck. The little fuel cell can produce enough electricity to power a smart phone with only a small supply of water. Though the fuel cell is small, it operates…

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Microbial fuel cells and their role in sustainability

Fracking - Drinking Water Contamination

Microbial fuel cells are getting more attention in the world of alternative energy because of their ability to multitask. Conventional hydrogen fuel cells are capable of doing more than just generating electricity – they can also produce clean water – but their microbial cousins can draw upon a wider variety of resources to generate hydrogen gas. As such, these fuel cells have begun appearing at waste management and sewage treatment facilities around the world. They have been turning waste into electricity, leaving nothing more than clean water behind. While the…

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