Researchers in England have found a promising method for producing hydrogen from sunflower oil, a development that could lead to cleaner and more efficient hydrogen production for powering automobile fuel cells as well as homes, factories and offices. The development was described today at the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
Fuel cells show much promise for supplying the energy needs of the future, and their demand is growing with increasing use of the technology. But one of their drawbacks, experts say, is that the hydrogen required to run them generally comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which generate pollutants such as carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane.
"Producing hydrogen from sunflower oil could provide a more environmentally-friendly alternative by reducing these pollutants while offering an abundant, low-cost and renewable resource that reduces dependence on foreign oil," says the study’s lead researcher, Valerie Dupont, Ph.D., an energy engineer with the University of Leeds in England.
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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