Washington DC (SPX) Jul 28, 2009
Concerns about dwindling fossil fuel resources, current levels of petroleum consumption, and growing pressure to shift to more sustainable energy sources are among the many factors prompting the transition from our current energy infrastructure to one that uses less carbon and requires the efficient conversion of energy.
This necessitates collecting energy from ambient sources including wind, solar, and geothermal power, and converting it into appropriate forms for distributing electricity. While it is possible for this electric power to be distributed efficiently, conversion is necessary for use in automobiles and large-scale storage is problematic.
PEM Fuel Cells
In particular, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, also called Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells, take hydrogen and oxygen from the air to create electricity. They are typically used in automobiles. When pure hydrogen is used as a fuel, these fuel cells emit only heat and water as byproducts, eliminating concerns about air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel cells have the potential to replace the internal combustion engine in vehicles and provide power in stationary and portable power applications as they are energy-efficient, clean, and fuel-flexible. The paper PEM Fuel Cells: A Mathematical Overview published on July 17 in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics: Special Issue on Fuel Cells examines the mathematical issues that arise when modeling PEM fuel cells.
Math and PEM Fuel Cells
Accurately simulating the resulting multiscale interactions requires carefully constructed mathematical models that faithfully represent the physics at the various scales. Modeling and analysis of PEM fuel cell structures, their construction, performance, and degradation also requires the development of new mathematical solutions and highly structured and highly adaptive numerical techniques.
Mathematical analysis and scientific computation will play a large role in the resolution of these important issues and as a result will affect the progress of PEM fuel cell research and development.
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New Method For Cleaner And More Efficient CO2 Capture
Livermore CA (SPX) Jul 28, 2009
Separating carbon dioxide from its polluting source, such as the flue gas from a coal-fired power plant, may soon become cleaner and more efficient. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher has developed a screening method that would use ionic liquids - a special type of molten salt that becomes liquid under the boiling point of water (100 degrees Celsius) - to separate carbon ... read more
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