The scientists demonstrate that a lightweight material, ammonia borane, can be a feasible material for storing hydrogen on vehicles, according to an article publishing in the March 18 issue of Science. In the upcoming article, researchers describe an efficient method of adding hydrogen back into the material once the alternative fuel is spent.
“This is a critical step if we want to use hydrogen as a fuel for the transportation industry,” said Dr. David Dixon, the Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry at The University of Alabama and one of the article’s co-authors.
In this approach, ammonia borane in a fuel tank produces hydrogen which, when combined with oxygen in the vehicle’s fuel cell, releases energy. That energy is then converted to electricity that powers an electric motor. Water is the only emission.
After hydrogen is released from the ammonia borane, a residue, which the researchers refer to as “spent fuel,” remains.
“The spent fuel stays in the car, and we need to add hydrogen back to it in order to use it again,” Dixon says. “What this paper describes is an efficient way to add the hydrogen back to make the ammonia borane again. And it can be done in a single reactor.”
Practical, efficient and affordable storage of hydrogen has been one of the challenges in making the powering of electrical motors via hydrogen fuel cells a viable alternative to traditional gasoline powered engines.
Benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology include cleaner air and less dependence on foreign oil.
Today’s announcement of a successful “fuel regeneration process,” as the scientists call it, overcomes one key hurdle.
The experimental work was done at Los Alamos and the computer modeling work was done in Dixon’s University of Alabama lab.
UA co-authors with Dixon are Edward “Ted” B. Garner III, a University graduate student from Florence; J. Pierce Robinson, a UA undergraduate from Atmore; and Dr. Monica Vasiliu, a UA alumna from Romania who is working with Dixon as a post-doctoral researcher.
The article’s lead author is Dr. Andrew D. Sutton of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Other Los Alamos co-authors are Drs. Anthony K. Burrell, John C. Gordon, Tessui Nakagawa and Kevin C. Ott.
While there has been much progress toward making the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cell technology practical, Dixon said other challenges remain.
“The basic three steps – the initial synthesis, the controlled release of hydrogen, and the regeneration of fuel – are actually in pretty good shape. The next piece is to get a cheap source of hydrogen that doesn’t come from coal or fossil fuels.
“The biggest hurdle which we, and everybody else in the world, are looking at is ‘how do I use solar energy efficiently to split water in order to make hydrogen and oxygen.”
The research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is through the DOE’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence. This entity, funded with $30 million, is a collaboration among multiple university and industrial partners across the country, including The University of Alabama, and with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington.
Research for the project at UA, which was named a partner in the entity in 2004, is funded by some $2.2 million.
Source: Dr. David Dixon, 205/348-8441, firstname.lastname@example.org; Writer: Chris Bryant, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8323, email@example.com
Chris Bryant | Newswise Science News
Linear potentiometer LRW2/3 - Maximum precision with many measuring points
17.05.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
17.05.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Event News