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Fri Sep 27, 2019, 07:57 PM

Northrop-Grumman: Clean Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles Powered by the Wind and Sun



Northrop-Grumman | TRACY STAEDTER | Sep 27th 2019

It’s a wonder that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles aren’t more popular in cities around the world. Powered with the most abundant element in the universe and using technology that emits only water, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles only number in the thousands. Electric cars, on the other hand, are expected to reach 4.5 million by 2020, according to McKinsey. Several car manufacturers, including Hyundai, Honda and Toyota, are aiming higher, though, and have set goals to sell hundreds of thousands of hydrogen-powered cars within the next few years, reports NPR.

But fuel cells are expensive, and methods used to split water molecules (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2), are energy-intensive. Currently, 95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States comes from natural gas, according to the Department of Energy. That makes environmentalists uneasy because an otherwise emission-free fuel is produced through fossil fuel extraction and development. But research teams are working on new ways to develop clean hydrogen using renewable electricity generated by the sun or wind. Here’s how.

Sun and Saltwater

From their vantage, about three miles from the Pacific coast, researchers at Stanford University in California see the ocean every day. Now they’ve found a way to use that abundant saltwater in a well-known process called electrolysis, a technique that uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The reaction typically occurs inside a unit called an electrolyzer, where a power source connects to an anode (positive end) and a cathode (negative end) submerged in water. When a certain voltage runs through the water, oxygen comes out of the anode and hydrogen gas bubbles out of the cathode. That gas can be captured and run through a fuel cell.

Researchers would like to produce hydrogen gas from ocean water, since it’s so plentiful. But negatively charged chloride particles in seawater salt can corrode the positive end of the electrolyzer, ruining the unit within hours of use. Relying on purified water is an option, but in a world where drought and pollution are increasing, fresh water is a diminishing resource.

Professor Hongjie Dai of Stanford and his colleagues think they have a solution. They discovered that if they coated the anode with a negatively charged material, it repelled the negatively charged chloride particles and reduced corrosion. The material they developed is layered, with a foam core made of nickel metal, surrounded by nickel sulfide, topped with nickel-iron hydroxide. In lab experiments, Dai and his colleagues were able to run up to 10 times more electricity through their multi-layer coating without the risk of corrosion. “I think we set a record on the current to split seawater,” Dai said in a press release.... more: https://now.northropgrumman.com/clean-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-powered-by-the-wind-and-sun/

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Reply Northrop-Grumman: Clean Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles Powered by the Wind and Sun (Original post)
Aquila Sep 27 OP
wonderwarthog Sep 28 #1
oflguy Sep 28 #2

Response to Aquila (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 12:12 AM

1. Cool!

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Response to Aquila (Original post)

Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:31 AM

2. Which military base has stealth bombers powered by hydrogen?

I missed that memo

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