Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Power from hydrogen moves a step closer

15.10.2003


An invention being developed jointly by the Low Temperature Engineering Group at the University of Southampton and BOC Edwards could help turn the dream of hydrogen technology into reality. In future, electricity, and in some applications useful heat, could be generated in a fuel cell through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, with water being produced at the end of the process.



Howard Stone, an Engineering Doctorate student, and his supervisor Dr Neil Richardson of the School of Engineering Sciences are in the running for a national award after designing a new kind of hydrogen pump, which could eventually make the use of fuel cells in integrated home energy systems and private cars a practical proposition.

The work is sponsored by one of the world’s leading vacuum pump manufacturers, BOC Edwards of Crawley, West Sussex and forms part of a wider investigation into enabling technologies for the hydrogen economy.


Fuel cells themselves are not a new idea. Scientist Sir William Grove managed to split water into its constituent parts of hydrogen and oxygen in 1839. He also hypothesised that this electrolysis process in reverse could create electricity, then proved his theory experimentally. Hydrogen fuel cells were further developed by space scientists at NASA and were first used on the Gemini missions.

The new pump is designed to be extremely reliable, safe and efficient, precision-built for zero leaks. It embodies a number of innovative features which are the subject of patent applications.

Dr Richardson explained: ‘There are many advantages to developing energy systems employing hydrogen as the fuel, not least the potential absence of pollution. Supplies of hydrogen and oxygen are, in theory, plentiful. For example, water, H2O, is composed of nothing but hydrogen and oxygen. The difficulty is in accessing the components from this and other sources, in an efficient and reliable way that does not in itself create pollution and then storing and distributing the hydrogen fuel to end-users. It will take many years before the technology is ready to be used commercially because of the problems in creating the infrastructure but much work is underway to overcome the difficulties.’

The Carbon Trust has short-listed the invention for its Innovation Awards 2003. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 6 November 2003.

Peter Shortt, Director of the Carbon Trust’s Low Carbon Innovation Programme said: ‘This awards scheme demonstrates the enormous potential which the UK has for leading the world in low carbon technology development.’

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat
18.05.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Researchers control the properties of graphene transistors using pressure
17.05.2018 | Columbia University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>