Hydrogen Fuel Cells for domestic cars become more feasible

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by thingy, Aug 1, 2008.

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  1. ...and the best part is, this is being published in open literature. Makes it much harder for Shell/BP/etc to come along and patent it.
     
  2. Re: Hydrogen Fuel Cells for domestic cars become more feasib

    Oh if were was so simple... We have known that platinum can be used as the anode for years, and this technology has been part of the Physics lab experiment/demonstration since I was a lad.

    Until they can crack the energy gap between energy used to split water into Hydrogen and oxygen., and then sell it at a profit. I am afraid that this is unlikely in my life time.

    I am not holding my breath..

    The devil as always in in the detail:

    Quote from article

    "* Scientists are trying to work out exactly how the catalyst works and hope to refine the technique further. They plan to experiment with other catalysts, such as platinum, which is known to speed up the rate at which hydrogen can be made when electrodes are placed in water."
     
  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Re: Hydrogen Fuel Cells for domestic cars become more feasib

    Lots of welding and cutting equipment out there that already uses similar technology ( I think it's referred to as Brown's Gas technology) As you say the energy required to seperate H, H from O is more than can be recovered from it requiring a constant current of around 50A......... but whilst not currently cost efficient, the use of solar power would certainly make the process energy efficient and one would assume; when the technlogy is better developed, carbon neutral (although manufacture of solar cells is currently far from this)

    I think you may well be surprised how quickly this technology is developed when you can see the money being thrown into it from my end, interestingly usmarox from the same companies you would assume (conspiracy theories aside) would rather see it disappear!
     
  4. Well, of course you can't get as much energy out a fuel cell as you use making the hydrogen. That's thermodynamically impossible. What's good is using a free, clean energy source and wasting that to make H2, instead of burning coal/oil/neutrons to do it.

    Effectively it's photosynthesis with a twist. You're just using the solar cell/fuel cell combo to concentrate solar energy. It's not magically more efficient, it's more economic than using conventional power.

    Chieftiff: I wouldn't call it a conspiracy theory, it's just good business practice. If they're bright enough to be making this much money out of oil now, they know it's going to run out eventually, and they know they'll need a new revenue stream when it does. They (or more accurately their shareholders) just want the switchover to occur in such a way as to minimise the impact on their profits.
     
  5. Re: Hydrogen Fuel Cells for domestic cars become more feasib

    I can't help wondering if there is enough platinum to allow mass production of this system though.
     
  6. Oh if only that were true. In the EU and most of the world a patent is only tested for novelty and inventivness over anything in the public domain before it was first filed at the patent office. In the US you even have 12 months grace after a novelty destroying publication to get it filed.

    So i'd guess this is already patented. We also wont know for 18 months because that's how long it takes for all applications to be published by the relevent paptent office.
     
  7. I fear the fabled 'hydrogen' econnomy is yet some long way off, but the technology of practical fuel cells is here now.

    The next generation of German U Boats will have fuelcell based AIP and developments of fuel cells to power lap top computers is well advanced.

    The lap top one is interesting in that all you have to do is keep the small fuel tank topped up and your puter runs for ever.
     
  8. Does that mean they've solved the electrode-poisoning problem now? Props to them.

    This really isn't my field, so, are they still talking about running fuel cells on molecular hydrogen? Or have they actually managed to make interstitial storage systems work?
     
  9. Re: Hydrogen Fuel Cells for domestic cars become more feasib

    Hig runs on Hydrogen, Oh sorry got it wrong It,s "Sanatagen". As the advert used to go, "it fortifies the over forties" LOL.
     
  10. Not my field either but this was the thing I was refering to
    "Toshiba's small form factor direct methanol fuel cell (aka DMFC) can operate for five hours, generating between 12W and 20W of power and is electrically compatible with existing Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries. It's not yet the size of a typical notebook battery, but Tosh is working on it."
     

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