Tag Archive | "fuel cells"

Hydrogen easily extracted from plants in boon for fuel cells


Fuel cells are powered by hydrogen, which can be difficult and environmentally messy to produce. Researchers at Virginia Tech have found a way to extract hydrogen from plants in a simple, non-polluting way. They expect it to be on the market within a few years. If so, this would mainstream fuel cell vehicles.

A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world.

Posted in News

Volkswagen says fuel cell vehicles not possible at reasonable cost


While other automakers continue to develop fuel cell vehicles, which are powered by hydrogen and have no harmful emissions, Volkwswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn says they are impossible to build at a “reasonable cost.” Even if they could be, then huge numbers of hydrogen fueling stations would need to be built to fuel them, which seems improbable at best.

Fuel cell vehicles could still have futures as forklifts, buses, and short-range delivery trucks, where they would be re-fueled at a central location. However, electric vehicles can also be used for these purposes and the fueling systems (electricity) are already in place.

Posted in News

Fuel cell station powered by wind

Credit: SourceOne

By building a wind turbine to power a hydrogen production and fueling station, a little hamlet in Long Island is positioning itself as the bellwether for carbon-neutral transportation.

The hydrogen will power two Toyota fuel cell Highlanders and a fuel cell / gas bus. Thus, Hempstead NY may become an important test area for fuel cell vehicles, which use hydrogen to create electricity. Byproducts are water, heat, and microscopic amounts of emissions.

Posted in Energy, Wind turbines

Off planet energy source? Think small

Electron microscope image of the microbe, Geobacter sulfurreducens, the core of the microbial fuel cell-based system. (NRL photo)

That’s what the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory (NRL) is doing these days.

Integrating the NRL developed technologies in microrobotics, microbial fuel cells, and low power electronics, space robotics scientist Dr. Gregory P. Scott at NRL’s Spacecraft Engineering Department inspires a novel autonomous microrover, weighing in at nearly one-kilogram and powered by an advanced microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology.

“The goal is to demonstrate a more efficient and reliable energy source for use in powering small robotic vehicles in environments where the option for human intervention is non-existent,” said Scott. “Microbial fuel cells coupled with extremely low-power electronics and a low energy requirement for mobility addresses gaps in power technology applicable to all robotic systems, especially planetary robotics.”

This research is still in its early days, but it’s a new way to approach the problem of powering equipment far from home.

Posted in News

Apple filing patents for fuel cell powered MacBooks

A fuel-cell laptop could run for weeks without a recharge.

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Vitamin B12 could make fuel cells cheaper

Research is underway to determine if B12 could be used instead of expensive platinum as a catalyst for fuel cells.

Posted in News

Cleaner coal via using CO2 for fuel cells?

Clean Technica reports that Fuel Cell Energy is getting a DOE grant to evaluate using CO2 from coal emissions along with hydrogen from natural gas to run fuel cells, creating electricity and reducing emissions.

But CO2 can not be used as a feedstock for fuel cells. So the whole thing is a bit baffling.

Posted in News

Hydrogen fuel cell storage for Germany wind power

Storing excess energy from wind is always a good idea. A German city plans to do so with ultra-clean fuel cells.

Posted in Wind turbines

Fuel cell from Michelin to boost EV mini car

[Michelin], the tire company has decided to develop a fuel cell. That’s right, a tire company developing a hydrogen fuel cell which will go inside a FAM F-City car in France.

This will be the first fuel cell vehicle in France to win certification to drive on its roads. The FAM F-City will run mainly off its nickel hydride batteries and use the hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender.

I admit it, I’m a sucker for itty bitty, goofy looking, cleantech cars.

Posted in News

Bioengineering algae to make hydrogen

The scientists say introducing an enzyme into the water in which the algae live suppresses sugar production and increases hydrogen production by about 400 percent without killing the organisms.

Ultimately, the bioengineered algae could be used to produce hydrogen on a large scale because algae is abundant, prolific and hardy and there is nothing toxic involved in the process.

Creating hydrogen on a renewable basis at mass scale could be used to power fuel cells, which create energy with no byproducts except water from hydrogen and oxygen.

Posted in News


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