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 Researchers pave the way for ionotronic nanodevices
23.02.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor
22.02.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>