Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Fuel Cell

Toyota's Mirai is the result of 20 years of R&D

On the night before its official launch, Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced that the company's fuel cell vehicle (FCV) will be called the "Mirai." The name, which means "future" in Japanese, marks what the car maker sees as a turning point in automotive technology with the development of both a hydrogen-powered vehicle and an expanded hydrogen fueling infrastructure.  Read More

Honda's FCV Concept

A year ago this month, Honda unveiled its hydrogen fuel cell-powered FCEV Concept. The car represents the basic platform upon which the successor to the automaker's currently-available (but limited-production) FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle will be based. Yesterday in Japan, Honda revealed a refined version of the FCEV, in the form of the FCV Concept.  Read More

Researchers at the University of Utah have created a jet-fuel powered fuel cell that runs ...

Engineers at the University of Utah have developed and built the very first fuel cell using jet fuel that operates at room-temperature without the need to ignite the fuel. Using enzymes to help produce electricity, these new fuel cells have the potential to power everything from portable electronic devices to cars and off-grid power systems.  Read More

Airbus is helping fund a project examining the potential for hydrogen fuel cells to replac...

With the airline industry's commitment to halve 2005 CO2 emission levels by 2050 prompting Airbus and others to accelerate the development of alternative jet fuels, Airbus is now getting behind a project to examine the potential for using hydrogen fuel cells on commercial airliners – not to power the jet engines, but to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs).  Read More

The Stanford University water splitter could save hydrogen producers billions of dollars (...

A new emissions-free device created by scientists at Stanford University uses an ordinary 1.5-volt battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen at room temperature, potentially providing a low-cost method to power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles and buildings.  Read More

The proposals are intended to produce new power sources, such as the fuel cell used in thi...

Once upon a time, energy systems for space missions were simple. You used batteries for very short missions, solar panels in the inner Solar System, nuclear power generators if you were beyond Mars or needed a lot of power, and fuel cells for manned spacecraft. However, as space exploration starts looking into lunar polar craters, comets, and the icy moons of Jupiter, new energy systems will be needed. To anticipate that need, NASA has made awards to four proposals to develop advanced energy storage technology for future manned and unmanned space missions..  Read More

The PowerTrekk 2.0 is designed to charge more power-hungry gadgets such as tablets

After introducing its PowerTrekk portable fuel cell charger several years ago, Swedish company myFC is readying the 2.0 version. The new model is close to three times more powerful than the original, offering enough juice to charge tablets, along with smaller devices like smartphones and GPS units.  Read More

Researchers are using hydrogen created as a by-product in sodium chlorate production to po...

By-products are common to most industries. Some are harmless, some dangerous and others useless. Others are simply under-utilized. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is using hydrogen generated as a by-product of the sodium chlorate production process in its pilot-scale power plant to produce electricity.  Read More

Sandia’s Daniel Dedrick visits a station in Oakland,  California, as part of a study into ...

Hydrogen fueled vehicles, such as Toyota's FCV and Hyundai's Tuscon Fuel Cell, face a chicken or egg predicament: consumers are rightfully hesitant to invest in such vehicles if they don't have a convenient way to refuel them, and energy companies don't want to cough up dollars for costly infrastructure without significant numbers of such vehicles on the road. But a study by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories says that more existing gas stations in California could readily integrate hydrogen fuel than previously thought.  Read More

The USC organic redux flow battery (not pictured) replaces metals with water-soluble organ...

Lithium-ion batteries have made portable, rechargeable electronics commonplace. Unfortunately, they do have some glaring drawbacks, including heat issues, being made with rare, toxic elements, and the fact the technology doesn't scale up very well, which limits applications. A team of scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) is working on an alternative in the form of a water-based organic battery that is not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly, but also holds the potential for scaling up for use in wind and solar power plants as a means to store large amounts of energy.  Read More

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