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

Jun 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: Computational clues into the structure of a promising energy conversion catalyst

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hydrogen fuel cell for phone charging set for 2013

Sep 22, 2012

(Phys.org)—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 ...

Recommended for you

A renewable bioplastic made from squid proteins

7 hours ago

In the central Northern Pacific is an area that may be the size of Texas called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Made up of tons of floating plastic debris, the patch is killing seabirds and poisoning marine ...

User comments : 0

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.