Breakthrough could make hydrogen fuel more practicalApril 6, 2013
Hydrogen fuel may win more support through new breakthrough
Researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada claim that they have made a significant breakthrough in the field of renewable energy, one that could make the use of clean power more practical in the future. This breakthrough involves hydrogen fuel, its production, and its use as a storage medium for other forms of renewable power. Of all the sources of renewable energy, hydrogen fuel is often the one that receives the most criticism. The costs associated with hydrogen fuel are often cited as the reason hydrogen is considered a less practical energy source. Researchers from the University of Calgary, however, claim that they have found a way to make hydrogen fuel more attractive.
Researchers develop new electrolyzer
Researchers have build a new kind of electrolyzer in order to produce hydrogen more efficiently. Electrolyzers use electrical currents to break water into its chemical components of hydrogen and oxygen. These systems are vital for fuel cells, which use hydrogen fuel to produce electrical power. Conventional electrolyzers make use of rare, and sometimes toxic, metals, making them very expensive to build and somewhat difficult to use. Researchrs claim that they have found materials that can be used in electrolyzers that are neither expensive nor dangerous and that these materials could actually make better electrolyzers.
Inexpensive and efficient electrolyzer built using rust
Researchers have made an electrolyzer system out of rust. According to researchers, this electrolyzer is approximately 1,000 times less expensive than conventional models and is able to produce hydrogen fuel efficiently. While efficient hydrogen fuel production could have many implications for the world of renewable energy, it could also mean progress in the realm of energy storage. Researchers suggest that hydrogen is an adequate storage method for renewable energy and is much less volatile and difficult to work with than the conventional batteries that are used to store energy today.
Hydrogen fuel may be an effective storage medium for renewable energy
Solar and wind power are two of the most common forms of renewable energy in the world currently. While both wind and solar have won widespread acceptance, the issue of efficient storage has kept these two forms of energy from completely replacing more conventional forms of power. Electrolyzers could store the electrical power generated by these energy systems by converting the electricity that they generate into hydrogen gas, which can then be used to generate electrical power itself.