Study reveals new, cost-efficient method for creating portable hydrogen fuel cells

June 28, 2007

A new paper published in Journal of the American Ceramic Society proposes a new method of producing hydrogen for portable fuel cells.

This new method negates the need for the complicated and expensive equipment currently used. With their ability to work steadily for 10-20 times the length of equivalently sized Lithium-ion batteries, portable fuel cells are ideal energy suppliers for devices such as computers, cell phones and hybrid vehicles.

Significant amounts of hydrogen are needed to power these long-lived fuel cells, but producing the chemical has, until this point, been costly and difficult. Zhen-Yan Deng, lead author of the study, found that modified aluminum powder can be used to react with water to produce hydrogen at room temperature and under normal atmospheric pressure. The result is a cost-efficient method for powering fuel cells that will make their use a more practical and realistic option in many applications.

Efforts to produce large amounts of hydrogen for portable devices have previously focused on other chemicals; however, compared to other hybrids, aluminum is cheaper and requires no other chemical in order to react with water. “This makes the modified aluminum powder a more economically viable material to generate hydrogen for the future use of portable fuel cells,” says Deng.

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: Research team develops lightweight, portable power using hydrogen fuel pellets

Related Stories

Hydrogen fuel cell for phone charging set for 2013

September 22, 2012

(—A three-way collaboration between Japan-based Rohm, Aquafairy, and Kyoto University has resulted in the development of a smartphone-charging fuel cell—a compact, high output, portable hydrogen powered fuel ...

Recommended for you

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

New gene map reveals cancer's Achilles heel

November 25, 2015

Scientists have mapped out the genes that keep our cells alive, creating a long-awaited foothold for understanding how our genome works and which genes are crucial in disease like cancer.

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.