by Staff Writers
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Aug 31, 2011
A team of USC scientists has developed a robust, efficient method of using hydrogen as a fuel source. Hydrogen makes a great fuel because of it can easily be converted to electricity in a fuel cell and because it is carbon free.
The downside of hydrogen is that, because it is a gas, it can only be stored in high pressure or cryogenic tanks.
In a vehicle with a tank full of hydrogen, "if you got into a wreck, you'd have a problem," said Travis Williams, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College.
A possible solution is to store hydrogen in a safe chemical form. Earlier this year, Williams and his team figured out a way to release hydrogen from an innocuous chemical material - a nitrogen-boron complex, ammonia borane - that can be stored as a stable solid.
Now the team has developed a catalyst system that releases enough hydrogen from its storage in ammonia borane to make it usable as a fuel source. Moreover, the system is air-stable and re-usable, unlike other systems for hydrogen storage on boron and metal hydrides.
The research was published this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"Ours is the first game in town for reusable, air stabile ammonia borane dehydrogenation," Williams said, adding that the USC Stevens Institute is in the process of patenting the system.
The system is sufficiently lightweight and efficient to have potential fuel applications ranging from motor-driven cycles to small aircraft, he said.
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Novel alloy could produce hydrogen fuel from sunlight
Louisville KY (SPX) Aug 31, 2011
Scientists from the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have determined that an inexpensive semiconductor material can be "tweaked" to generate hydrogen from water using sunlight. The research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, was led by Professors Madhu Menon and R. Michael Sheetz at the UK Center for Computational Sciences, and Professor Mahendra Sunkara and g ... read more
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