One of the most promising forms of artificial photosynthesis involves using solar energy to split liquid water to produce oxygen and hydrogen gas, which can be stored and used as a clean fuel. And one of the most promising semiconductor materials for such a task is gallium phosphide (GaP), which can convert sunlight into an electrical charge and also split water. Unfortunately, the material is expensive, but researchers have now used a processed form of gallium phosphide to create a prototype solar fuel cell that not only requires 10,000 times less of the precious material, but also boosts the hydrogen yield by a factor of 10.
For decades we've been promised that hydrogen fuel cells will revolutionize our lives, but it always seems to be around the next corner. But that hasn't stopped one UK company from pursuing a near future in which iPhones and other devices are completely disconnected from the electrical grid and instead use embedded fuel cells to power themselves for a full week between recharges.
Toyota and Hino Motors have begun testing a jointly-developed fuel cell bus in Tokyo, Japan. The brief test is designed to will help Toyota evaluate and improve the technology ahead of a possible market launch.
When people suggest possible uses for electric multicopter drones, it
frequently seems like they're forgetting something – presently, most
such aircraft can only fly for a maximum of around 25 minutes per
battery charge. Horizon Energy Systems, however, is developing a quadcopter that should do a lot better. Known as the Hycopter, the fuel cell-powered drone is hoped to be capable of 4-hour flight times once completed.