Proton flow battery advances hydrogen power

February 6, 2014
Proton flow battery advances hydrogen power
The concept advances the potential for hydrogen to replace lithium in battery-powered devices.

(Phys.org) —Researchers have developed a concept hydrogen battery based simply on storing protons produced by splitting water.

The novel developed by researchers at RMIT University advances the potential for hydrogen to replace lithium as an energy source in battery-powered devices.

The proton concept eliminates the need for the production, storage and recovery of hydrogen gas, which currently limit the efficiency of conventional hydrogen-based electrical energy storage systems.

Lead researcher Associate Professor John Andrews, from RMIT's School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, said the novel concept combined the best aspects of and battery-based electrical power.

"As only an inflow of water is needed in charge mode - and air in discharge mode - we have called our new system the 'proton flow battery'," Associate Professor Andrews said.

"Powering batteries with protons has the potential to be a much more economical device than using lithium ions, which have to be produced from relatively scarce mineral, brine or clay resources.

"Hydrogen has great potential as a clean power source and this research advances the possibilities for its widespread use in a range of applications - from consumer electronic devices to large electricity grid storage and electric vehicles."

The concept integrates a metal hydride storage electrode into a reversible proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell.

During charging, protons produced from are directly combined with electrons and metal particles in one electrode of a fuel cell, forming a solid-state as the energy storage. To resupply electricity, this process is reversed.

Published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (January, 2014), the research found that, in principle, the of the proton flow battery could be as high as that of a , while storing more energy per unit mass and volume.

The published paper is the first to articulate and name the proton flow battery concept, and the first to include an experimental preliminary proof of concept.

"Our initial experimental results are an exciting indicator of the promise of the concept, but a lot more research and development will be necessary to take it through to practical commercial application," Associate Professor Andrews said.

Explore further: Building a sustainable hydrogen economy

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8 comments

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holoman
1 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2014
proton also called monatomic hydrogen

http://colossalstorage.net/API

bearly
not rated yet Feb 06, 2014
When can we have them?
hangman04
not rated yet Feb 06, 2014
when a fully working prototype will be presented to possible customers and/or investors.
shavera
5 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2014
But it is, I'd say, a pretty smart idea overall. I really can't imagine seeing a "hydrogen economy" infrastructure ever developing. But why not electrolyse water at home? I plug in my car now to charge it... what if that "charging" was just splitting water (that I also have available at home). The infrastructure would only need be a water+electricity infrastructure, which we already have.

And it wouldn't even need to be "drinking" water per se. If the car had a "Brita-style" filter, probably even grey-water (collected rainwater, water reused from certain other applications) could probably be used in areas where water is scarce or in times of drought.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2014
But it is, I'd say, a pretty smart idea overall. I really can't imagine seeing a "hydrogen economy" infrastructure ever developing. But why not electrolyse water at home? I plug in my car now to charge it... what if that "charging" was just splitting water (that I also have available at home). The infrastructure would only need be a water+electricity infrastructure, which we already have.

And it wouldn't even need to be "drinking" water per se. If the car had a "Brita-style" filter, probably even grey-water (collected rainwater, water reused from certain other applications) could probably be used in areas where water is scarce or in times of drought.


Now now we can't ever have that... Big oil will spill their beans (or rather oil :twisted:) if ever we were to create electricity from water.... hence they'll keep swinging the baboon mentality racket so the world can grow to stay dumb.
ugosugo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2014
considering that splitting water is very energy inefficient, I seriously doubt their claim. Let sai they are very conveniently optimistic
holoman
not rated yet Feb 07, 2014
It really is hard for me to understand why new technology keeps using
valuable resources like fresh water, corn, wheat, drilling in the earth,
polluting rivers, wells, and air when a better technology is being
developed that only requires Solar or Wind energy input and Sea Water as the only feed stock. 100% renewable forever and is 100 % green.

http://colossalstorage.net/API

10 years before on market ? way too long.

shavera
not rated yet Feb 07, 2014
@holoman. You're missing the point. Right now, the production of lithium-ion batteries for cars is so energy intensive it may/comes close to (depending on who's crunching the numbers) wipe out the gains in efficiency from power plants. If we want more truly "green" cars, we need to get better than lithium technology for batteries. This article provides one way.

Perhaps what we could start doing is having a grey-water redistribution system (note, probably large infrastructure costs) but use treated water (that isn't otherwise classified as safe-for-consumption, but is generally pretty safe) for stuff like flushing toilets or irrigation or technologies like these.

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