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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A team of University of Southern California scientists has developed an efficient method of using hydrogen as a fuel source. The method involves a catalyst system that releases enough hydrogen from its storage in ammonia borane to make it usable as a fuel source.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
A new synthetic material designed to help speed a reaction involved in the hydrogen gas production pipeline works 10 times faster than the natural protein used to design it, report scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.