CIDETEC is working on a project the aim of which is to carry out a direct assessment of the technology of fuel cells for “mini” applications which have between 1 and 10 watt power requirements – such as for mobile phone or PDA chargers or for remote signalling, etc. to this end, a series of technologies are being developed in order to obtain a house technology mini fuel cells, including the design and enhancement of EMAs (electrode-membrane assemblies), of structural elements (current collectors, shutting-off devices) and of the electronics for current enhancement (including the use of supercondensers for the supply of current peaks).
This work is currently following two lines of investigation, depending on which fuel is used. The first, using hydrogen mini fuel cells (stored in a small metal hydride cartridge), while the current focus is on the use of direct methanol (DMFC). To date it has been possible to assemble and test a 1.5W hydrogen mini fuel cell prototype which, combined with supercondensers, has been able to power a mobile phone enabling calls to be made and received.
Apart from the use of methanol as a fuel, other lines of investigation currently under way are the perfecting of a design of a new mini fuel cell the protection of which through taking out a patent is being processed; the use of new thin-layer EMAs which will provide greater yields with a significant reduction in the use of noble metals as electrocatalysts and, thus, reduce the cost of the cell.
Soledad Larrocha Redondo | Basque research
Filter may be a match for fracking water
26.09.2017 | Swansea University
Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent
25.09.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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