The transportation industry is one of the largest consumers of energy in the U.S. economy with increasing demand to make it cleaner and more efficient. While more people are using electric cars, designing electric-powered planes, ships and submarines is much harder due to power and energy requirements.
A team of engineers in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a high-power fuel cell that advances technology in this area. Led by Vijay Ramani, the Roma B. and Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished University Professor, the team has developed a direct borohydride fuel cell that operates at double the voltage of today’s commercial fuel cells.
This advancement using a unique pH-gradient-enabled microscale bipolar interface (PMBI), reported in Nature Energy Feb. 25, could power a variety of transportation modes — including unmanned underwater vehicles, drones and eventually electric aircraft — at significantly lower cost.
“The pH-gradient-enabled microscale bipolar interface is at the heart of this technology,” said Ramani, also professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering. “It allows us to run this fuel cell with liquid reactants and products in submersibles, in which neutral buoyancy is critical, while also letting us apply it in higher-power applications such as drone flight.”
The fuel cell developed at Washington University uses an acidic electrolyte at one electrode and an alkaline electrolyte at the other electrode. Typically, the acid and alkali will quickly react when brought in contact with each other. Ramani said the key breakthrough is the PMBI, which is thinner than a strand of human hair. Using membrane technology developed at the McKelvey Engineering School, the PMBI can keep the acid and alkali from mixing, forming a sharp pH gradient and enabling the successful operation of this system.
“Previous attempts to achieve this kind of acid-alkali separation were not able to synthesize and fully characterize the pH gradient across the PMBI,” said Shrihari Sankarasubramanian, a research scientist on Ramani’s team. “Using a novel electrode design in conjunction with electroanalytical techniques, we were able to unequivocally show that the acid and alkali remain separated.”
Lead author Zhongyang Wang, a doctoral candidate in Ramani’s lab, added: “Once the PBMI synthesized using our novel membranes was proven to work effectively, we optimized the fuel cell device and identified the best operating conditions to achieve a high-performance fuel cell. It has been a tremendously challenging and rewarding pathway to developing the new ion-exchange membranes that has enabled the PMBI.”
“This is a very promising technology, and we are now ready to move on to scaling it up for applications in both submersibles and drones,” Ramani said.
The Latest on: Fuel cell
via Google News
The Latest on: Fuel cell
- Ineos agrees to fuel Grenadier with Hyundai’s hydrogen cellon November 22, 2020 at 9:04 pm
Sir Jim Ratcliffe sketches out deal with South Korean business to exploit each company's strengths in the growing hydrogen economy ...
- Ineos signs hydrogen fuel cell deal for its off-road vehicleon November 22, 2020 at 4:04 pm
Ineos and Korean carmaker Hyundai have agreed to work together on hydrogen fuel cells that will eventually power the British chemical company’s new off-road vehicles. They will collaborate on ...
- Fuel Cell Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Type ; Application ; and End-Useron November 20, 2020 at 4:51 am
Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report "Fuel Cell Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Type ; Application ; and End-User" - Factors such as the rising need ...
- Global Fuel Cell Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Analysis - ResearchAndMarkets.comon November 20, 2020 at 4:42 am
The “Fuel Cell Market Forecast to 2027 - COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Type (Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, and Others); Application; and End-User” report has been added to ...
- Why Hydrogen Fuel Cell Stocks Jumped -- Then Gave Most of It Back -- on Thursdayon November 19, 2020 at 3:07 pm
At first, Thursday looked like it was going to be another great day for hydrogen fuel cell stocks. But then came the downgrade. In early trading, shares of hydrogen economy leaders Plug Power ( NASDAQ ...
- General Motors aims to commercialize battery, fuel cell technologies, be automaker of the futureon November 19, 2020 at 8:31 am
The 112-year-old automaker is back in the business of making product for others, developing green powertrains for the future -- to make some green.
- Fuel Cells Market Size 2020 By Share, Industry Statistics, Trends Evaluation, Business Challenges and Investment Opportunities Analysis till 2026on November 18, 2020 at 5:06 pm
The latest report as Fuel Cells Market acknowledges Size, Application Segment, Type, Regional Outlook, Market Demand, Latest Trends, and Fuel Cells Industry Share and Revenue by Manufacturers, Leading ...
- Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Parts Market 2020 Global Size, Growth Insight, Share, Trends, Industry Key Players, Regional Forecast To 2026on November 17, 2020 at 7:24 pm
Nov 18, 2020 (The Expresswire) -- Global "Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Parts Market" 2020 report includes the market strategy, market orientation, expertise opinion and knowledgeable information.
- Fuel Cell Cars: A Commercial Failure, IDTechEx Reportson November 11, 2020 at 5:16 am
Currently fuel cell cars cost over 1.6x as much to buy and up to three times as much to run in fuel costs, depending on your location (compared to the average internal combustion-engine).
via Bing News