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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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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Tobacco is a powerful biofuel, according to researchers at University of California

Alternative Fuel

For the past two decades, tobacco has played the villain in the U.S. Though tobacco itself contains only nicotine, cigarette companies have long added carcinogenic chemicals to their products, which has led many to see tobacco as a harmful product in and of itself. Researchers from the University of California in Berkeley claim that tobacco need no longer be portrayed as a villain because it can be a powerful biofuel. Thus, scientists with the university have developed a fuel based entirely on the simple plant. Using microbial fermentation, biochemist Christer…

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HyperSolar announces new technology breakthrough that hybridizes hydrogen energy with solar power

Hybrid Energy System

As more industries look to adopt hydrogen energy, the issue of producing the fuel is gaining attention. Hydrogen fuel cells have garnered acclaim for their performance and ability to generate large amounts of electricity, but they have also been criticized for not being entirely environmentally friendly. Fuel cells require electricity to operate, which is often drawn from an energy grid that is powered by fossil-fuels. HyperSolar, an alternative energy systems development company, has a plan to solve this problem through the use of solar power. The company has developed new…

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Germany to test new hydrogen storage tanks for use with new vehicles

Enertrag Hybrid power plant

Germany is keen to establish itself as a leading power in alternative energy. The country’s government has been investing in a variety of renewable fuel systems in recent years and is now turning its attention to the issue of energy storage. In Prenzlau, a city located 70 miles north of Berlin, a new kind of power plant has taken root. The plant combines wind energy with hydrogen. Essentially, the electricity generated by wind turbines is used to produce hydrogen gas, which is to be stored in new storage technologies developed…

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Germany to launch new energy storage system and hybrid wind-hydrogen energy system

wind and hydrogen power

Germany’s role in a future run by alternative energy is becoming more tangible. The national government has announced two new initiatives that are focused on energy storage technology. One of the initiatives calls upon the aid of Canadian-based hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer Ballard. The other seeks to combine wind-and-hydrogen-generated electricity into a powerful hybrid energy system. While other developed nations have been slow to adopt alternative energy, Germany has shown aggression in making sustainability a priority that may be only rivaled by the tenacity of China. Ballard will be supplying…

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Duke University researchers build solar-hydrogen energy system that could make solar energy cost-effective

Duke University Research - Renewable Energy

As with all alternatives to fossil-fuel, solar faces several challenges keeping it from widespread, commercial acceptance. One of the major challenges faced by those looking to adopt solar power is the issue of cost. While a solar energy system may be somewhat less expensive than a hydrogen energy system, solar panels are notoriously fickle to weather and not durable. Researchers from Duke University have been working on a way to make solar energy more cost-effective and may have succeeded by pairing it with hydrogen. Hybrid alternative energy systems are growing…

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Microbial fuel cells could solve the shortage of drinking water in developing countries

Microbial fuel cells

Microbial fuel cells are beginning to acquire a great deal of attention as they continue to show promising results in field tests. Microbial fuel cells are filled with bacteria, most of which is harmless to humans, which feed off of waste and produce hydrogen gas as a result. Such a system can be used to effectively treat waste water, making it clean and ready to drink despite its previous contaminants. Furthermore, these fuel cells can provide a vast amount of electricity, if the bacteria housed within is given enough waste…

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Researchers find enzyme that produces hydrogen faster than conventional fuel cells

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington have discovered an enzyme that can produce hydrogen more quickly than fuel cells. The enzyme is found in Soze microbes. Scientists first found the enzyme while experimenting with Soze microbes and began experimenting with how it could be used to produce useable hydrogen gas. Unfortunately, the natural enzyme was difficult to harvest from its host microbe and proved too fragile to survive for prolonged periods of time, leading researchers to develop a synthetic variant. According to Morris Bullock, leader of the…

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U.S. Navy tests microbial fuel cells for their new ocean sensor

US Navy - Fuel Cells

Microbial hydrogen fuel cells seem to be very popular lately. The U.S. Navy has recently announced that it will be using these fuel cells as part of its now autonomous ocean sensor. The sensor will be able to surface and dive easily and much of its buoyancy will be derived from the fuel cell itself. This is a new use for fuel cells as they are more often used to generate electricity rather than keep an oceanic device afloat. The Naval Research Laboratory calls their new device the Zero Power…

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