Fuel cells must be made more efficient if they are to provide a viable alternative to traditional energy sources, and the choice of materials is crucial to how efficient they are. New findings from scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Uppsala University, and Linköping University are opening new ways of finding optimal materials for better fuel cells much more quickly.
In the future solid oxide fuel cells may supply residential areas like Stockholm with electricity. In a solid oxide fuel cell, chemically stored energy is converted to electricity with a high degree of efficiency. The figure illustrates this with the chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen, which yields water (plus electricity). The article by Andersson et al. explains how the electrolyte should be constructed for optimal performance.
Using methods of calculation from quantum mechanics, the researchers managed to find a better way of understanding the connection between the atomic structure of an element and its capacity to conduct oxygen ions, which is key to the efficiency of fuel cells that use solid oxides as electrolyte materials (so-called solid oxide fuel cells).
The faster the transport of oxygen ions through the material occurs, the better the fuel cell will function. The findings are now being presented in the prestigious American scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS.
Magnus Myrén | alfa
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For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
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At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
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Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
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Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered a mechanism that amplifies the autoimmune reaction in an early stage of pancreatic islet autoimmunity prior to the progression to clinical type 1 diabetes. If the researchers blocked the corresponding molecules, the immune system was significantly less active. The study was conducted under the auspices of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and was published in the journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’.
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