Researchers Discover Doped Aluminum May Make Hydrogen Fuel Cells More Practical
November 1, 2011 2:16 PM
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Aluminum doped with titanium was able to catalyze hydrogen
We already know that hydrogen is a green fuel that can
. The catch is that hydrogen is dangerous to store both at fueling stations and aboard the vehicle. The catalyst material used in a hydrogen fuel cell is often platinum or other rare and very expensive metal. A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas and Washington State University think that they may have found a much cheaper catalyst material to advance the adoption of fuel cell technology.
The new catalyst material that the researchers are investigating is a doped aluminum alloy surface. The aluminum alloy is doped with titanium. The titanium is used sparingly in the new catalyst material.
Using controlled temperatures and pressures the team studied the titanium doped aluminum surface searching for signs of catalytic reactions taking place near the titanium atoms. To discover the catalytic reaction the team used the stereoscopic signature of carbon monoxide added to the test to specifically help locate signs of a reaction.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class hydrogen fuel cell vehicle
"We've combined a novel infrared reflection absorption-based surface analysis method and first principles-based predictive modeling of catalytic efficiencies and spectral response, in which a carbon monoxide molecule is used as a probe to identify hydrogen activation on single-crystal aluminum surfaces containing catalytic dopants," says lead researcher Yves J. Chabal of the University of Texas at Dallas.
The titanium added to the aluminum advances the process by helping hydrogen bind to aluminum to form aluminum hydride. When used as a fuel storage device, aluminum hydride could be made to release the hydrogen stores it holds by raising the temperature of the storage medium.
Other researchers have been studying
for storing hydrogen.
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11/1/2011 6:35:09 PM
Hydrogen is in it's infancy and seems to have been stuck there since the 70's. I found a cool old video of Jack Nicholson showing off a hydrogen vehicle in 1978.
Anyway, just think how far we could be with it, if everyone would focus on it. You could acutally go outside a take a big deep breath, and not suck in car exhuast.
I guarantee big oil and gas are gonna fight it to the end.
Hydrogen is so simple and easy to produce, that any avg. joe can do it with ease. I use a solar panel, salt, plastic water bottle, and water. GM and other's already have home hydrogen stations that use solar panels. I believe one of the problems with it, is gonna be how to tax it and profit from it. You have two big entities that will lose big, and that is the govt. and big oil. The technology is here, but the hold up is alot of feet dragging by those who will be on the losing end. They are putting up the road blocks and preventing this great, abundant source just out of reach, on purpose.
11/1/2011 6:49:57 PM
You couldn't be more correct. Spot on.
11/2/2011 3:25:25 PM
The only reason why its not being used right now is the Physics behind it. The amount of energy we have to collect/produce to switch us from Oil economy to a Hydrogen economy is substantial. Its Economic sucide to do this.
The Cost of the Fuel cell=high,Cost of producing Hydrogen, High. Price to store it High.
EV's Only have the cost of the Batteries and Electricity to worry about.
Though I will agree that the Government probably played a signficant hand in slowing innovation down. If we had a more free market economy we probably would have Electric cars right now in mass. Instead we are constrained by our own devices of politics.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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