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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11/3/2011 10:50:14 AM
Long term it would help our economy, certainly. I believe the original poster is referring more the short term pains that would happen, and how it would affect those who hold a lot of power right now (people in oil industries).
I'm of the belief that we could get off oil and thus remove our involvement in the Middle East if we spent a fraction of our budget that goes into the military into a lot of these alternative technologies.
11/4/2011 11:57:44 AM
The government choosing Winners and Losers is more devasting to the progress of our technology. There are so many hopeful technologies that can make it to the consumer market. However, if it doesn't get government funding its seen as a waste of time and effort.
Though we can both agree our meddling in the world needs to end.
"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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