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NIST hydrogen test facility starts delivering data

May 16, 2012 4:03 am | News | Comments

Researchers at NIST have published their first archival paper based on data from the institute's new hydrogen test facility. The paper examines the embrittling effect of pressurized hydrogen gas on three different types of pipeline steel, an important factor for the design of future hydrogen transportation and delivery systems.

Nanosheet catalyst discovered to sustainably split hydrogen from water

May 9, 2012 6:49 am | News | Comments

Hydrogen gas offers one of the most promising sustainable energy alternatives to limited fossil fuels. But traditional methods of producing pure hydrogen face significant challenges in unlocking its full potential. Now, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new electrocatalyst that addresses one of these problems by generating hydrogen gas from water cleanly and with much more affordable materials.

Novel solar reactor may enable clean fuel derived from sunlight

April 4, 2012 10:05 am | by Karen B. Roberts, University of Delaware | News | Comments

Producing hydrogen from non-fossil fuel sources is a problem that continues to elude many scientists, but University of Delaware's Erik Koepf thinks he may have discovered a solution. He has designed a novel reactor that employs highly concentrated sunlight and zinc oxide powder to produce solar hydrogen, a truly clean, sustainable fuel with zero emissions.

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Researchers use electricity to generate alternative fuel

March 30, 2012 4:21 am | by Wileen Wong Kromhout, University of California, Los Angeles | News | Comments

Imagine being able to use electricity to power your car—even if it's not an electric vehicle. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have for the first time demonstrated a method for converting carbon dioxide into liquid fuel isobutanol using electricity.

Fuel cell breaks 40,000-hour mark

March 29, 2012 2:01 pm | News | Comments

In a new world record for stationary applications, a planar solid oxide fuel cell built at Jülich Institute of Energy and Climate Research in Germany has exceeded an operating lifetime of 40,000 hours. Powered by hydrogen, the cell functioned for the equivalent of five years at 64% electricity conversion efficiency.

New catalyst for safe, reversible hydrogen storage

March 19, 2012 5:21 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have developed a new catalyst that reversibly converts hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide to a liquid under very mild conditions. The work could lead to efficient ways to safely store and transport hydrogen for use as an alternative fuel.

A surprising new kind of proton transfer

March 19, 2012 5:04 am | News | Comments

Biologists have longed believed that protons, the bare nuclei of hydrogen atoms, only travel between molecules via hydrogen bonds: No hydrogen bonds, no proton transfer. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists at the Advanced Light Source and their colleagues investigating molecular components of RNA were surprised to find that protons can find ways to transfer even when hydrogen bonds are blocked.

Researchers create more efficient hydrogen fuel cells

March 15, 2012 6:33 am | News | Comments

Hydrogen fuel cells, like those found in some "green" vehicles, have a lot of promise as an alternative fuel source, but making them practical on a large scale requires them to be more efficient and cost effective. A research team from the University of Central Florida may have found a way around both hurdles.

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Novel energy-harvesting device gets green light

March 15, 2012 5:33 am | News | Comments

A project from a team of researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Manchester, and Durham University beat more than 2,000 other proposals to receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a prototype system for recovering drinkable water and harvesting hydrogen energy from human faecal waste.

Nanotrees harvest the sun's energy to turn water into hydrogen fuel

March 8, 2012 3:05 am | News | Comments

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy without using fossil fuels and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. The team says nanowires also offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale.

Metal catalyst drives hydrogen fuel reaction forwards and backwards

February 16, 2012 5:40 am | News | Comments

When it comes to driving hydrogen production, a new catalyst built at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory can do what was previously shown to happen only in nature: Store energy in hydrogen and release that energy on demand. This nickel-based complex drives the reaction, but is not consumed by it.

Hydrogen from acidic water

February 9, 2012 10:19 am | News | Comments

A technique from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory for creating a new molecule that structurally and chemically replicates the active part of the molybdenite catalyst paves the way for developing catalytic materials that can serve as effective low-cost alternatives to platinum for generating hydrogen gas from water.

Berkeley Lab to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage

January 27, 2012 3:45 am | News | Comments

The biggest challenge with hydrogen-powered fuel cells lies in the storage of hydrogen: How to store enough of it, in a safe and cost-effective manner, to power a vehicle for 300 miles? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is aiming to solve this problem by synthesizing novel materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities.

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The great gas hydrate escape

January 18, 2012 11:14 am | News | Comments

For some time, researchers have explored flammable ice for low-carbon or alternative fuel or as a place to store carbon dioxide. Now, a computer analysis of the ice and gas compound, known as a gas hydrate, reveals key details of its structure. The results show that hydrates can hold hydrogen at an optimal capacity of 5 weight-percent, a value that meets the goal of a U.S. Department of Energy standard and makes gas hydrates practical and affordable.

SRNL research paves way for portable power systems

January 9, 2012 7:11 am | News | Comments

Developments by hydrogen researchers at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) are paving the way for the successful development of  portable power systems with capacities that far exceed the best batteries available today. SRNL's advances in the use of alane may be the key that unlocks the development of portable fuel cell systems for both military and commercial portable power application.

Relay race with single atoms

January 4, 2012 11:04 am | News | Comments

Thanks to a collaboration between scientists in San Sebastian and Japan, a relay reaction of hydrogen atoms at a single-molecule level has been observed in real space. This way of manipulating matter could open up new ways to exchange information between novel molecular devices in future electronics.

A more efficient way to make molecular hydrogen

December 9, 2011 3:17 am | News | Comments

When it comes to the industrial production of chemicals, often the most indispensable element is one that you can't see, smell, or even taste. It's hydrogen, the lightest element of all. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have developed an efficient two-step process that electrolyzes hydrogen atoms from water molecules before combining them to make molecular hydrogen.

Chemists develop liquid-based hydrogen storage material

November 22, 2011 9:11 am | News | Comments

University of Oregon chemists have developed a boron-nitrogen-based liquid-phase storage material for hydrogen that works safely at room temperature and is both air- and moisture-stable—an accomplishment that offers a possible route through current storage and transportation obstacles.

Three PNNL-developed technologies licensed via Startup America

November 22, 2011 6:20 am | News | Comments

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has signed option agreements with three companies that will lead to products designed to increase the storage capacity of batteries used to power portable devices and electric vehicles, reduce the cost of fuel cells used to generate electricity from hydrogen, and detect pests hidden behind walls in buildings.

New catalyst highly effective at splitting oxygen from water

October 28, 2011 7:37 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

According to the team who made the discovery, a new compound made from cobalt, iron and oxygen with other metals can split oxygen atoms from water at a rate at least an order of magnitude higher than the compound currently considered the gold standard.

Research holds promise for hydrogen's use as fuel source

October 27, 2011 7:26 am | News | Comments

Imagine your car running on an abundant, environmentally friendly fuel generated from the surrounding atmosphere. Sounds like science fiction, but University of Texas at Dallas researchers recently published a paper detailing a breakthrough in understanding how such a fuel—in this case, hydrogen—can be stored in metals.

Unusual metal hydride clusters hold promise for hydrogen storage

September 22, 2011 7:08 am | News | Comments

A new study from researchers at Japan’s RIKEN institute has shed first-ever light on a class of heterometallic molecular structures whose unique features, supplied by the use of both transition and rare-earth metals, may point the way to breakthroughs in lightweight fuel cell technology.

Grain of salt helps electrolysis cells make hydrogen

September 19, 2011 1:08 pm | News | Comments

A grain of salt or two may be all that microbial electrolysis cells need to produce hydrogen from wastewater or organic byproducts, without adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or using grid electricity, according to Penn State engineers.

New method could lead to better hydrogen storage

September 19, 2011 9:03 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Hydrogen has long been considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels for powering cars, trucks, and even homes. But one major obstacle has been finding lightweight, robust, and inexpensive ways of storing the gas. New research by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several other institutions analyzes the performance of a class of materials considered a promising candidate for such storage.

Iron veins: The secret of promising new hydrogen storage material

September 6, 2011 5:09 am | by Chad Boutin, NIST | News | Comments

With a nod to biology, scientists at NIST have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell-powered cars. Their idea: molecular scale "veins" of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries. The iron veins may transform magnesium from a promising candidate for hydrogen storage into a real-world winner.

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