Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Fuel Cell

The F 125! research vehicle is a glimpse of 2025 motoring from Mercedes-Benz

To celebrate 125 years of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz has provided a glimpse of where it sees things heading in the future with its F 125! research vehicle. Although it isn't so ambitious as to attempt to predict what cars will look like in another 125 years, the German automaker has decided to look a little further afield than usual. Previous research vehicles have generally looked ahead one vehicle generation, which is roughly seven to eight years, but with a newly developed hydrogen fuel cell system, gesture controls, and range of 1,000 km (621 miles), Mercedes says the F 125! looks forward more than two generations to the year 2025 and beyond.  Read More

DARPA researchers have ruggedized a compact solid oxide fuel cell fueled by propane and in...

Small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have become an increasingly important intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tool for the military and their use will only continue to expand. While vehicles that are small enough to be carried provide soldiers in the field with capabilities such as over-the-next-hill imagery or the short-term monitoring of convoys, much research is going into finding ways to extend mission duration through better battery systems. DARPA researchers say they have overcome this limitation with the development of a compact solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) fueled by propane that quadruples the endurance of small unmanned aircraft systems .  Read More

Scientists are working on biological fuel cells, that could be used to power medical impla...

While there’s no denying that implantable medical devices such as pacemakers save peoples’ lives, powering those implants is still a tricky business. The batteries in a standard pacemaker, for instance, are said to last for about eight years – after that, surgery is required to access the device. Implants such as heart pumps are often powered by batteries that can be recharged from outside the body, but these require a power cord that protrudes through the patient’s skin, and that keeps them from being able to swim or bathe. Now, however, scientists at Germany’s University of Freiburg are developing biological fuel cells, that could draw power for implants from the patient’s own blood sugar.  Read More

The DLR research aircraft ATRA, equipped with a fuel cell-powered electric nose wheel duri...

The goals of the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent, NOx emissions by 80 percent and noise cut by 50 percent by 2020 has seen aircraft manufacturers and airlines looking at alternative fuels such as biofuel. While not feasible for powering the flight of the aircraft itself, Airbus has also been looking at the potential for fuel cell technology to power a number of aircraft functions, such as autonomous taxiing.  Read More

Regents professor Meilin Liu and postdoctoral researcher Mingfei Liu examine a button fuel...

Lately we’re hearing a lot about the green energy potential of fuel cells, particularly hydrogen fuel cells. Unfortunately, although various methods of hydrogen production are being developed, it still isn’t as inexpensive or easily obtainable as fossil fuels such as coal. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, however, have recently taken a step towards combining the eco-friendliness of fuel cell technology with the practicality of fossil fuels – they’ve created a fuel cell that runs on coal gas.  Read More

Three Mercedes-Benz hydrogen cell vehicles have successfully completed their 30,000-kilome...

After spending 70 days driving through 14 countries on four continents, three Mercedes-Benz hydrogen cell vehicles have successfully completed their 30,000-kilometer (18,641-mile) F-CELL World Drive. The trio of B-Class F-CELL automobiles left Stuttgart on January 30th, along with an entourage of support vehicles. After traversing a variety of highways, city streets and even some unpaved country roads, they crossed the finish line in front of Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz Museum this Wednesday (June 1st).  Read More

Scientists have determined the molecular structure of proteins that allow bacteria cells t...

The development of practical microbial fuel cells took a big step forward this week. Research conducted by a team of scientists from England’s University of East Anglia was published on Monday (May 23), in which they revealed that they had discovered “the exact molecular structure of the proteins which enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge.” Scientists possessing this knowledge can now start working on technology for tethering bacteria directly to electrodes, which could lead to much more efficient microbial fuel cells – also known as bio-batteries.  Read More

The students from Steven Institute of Technology responsible for the new microreactor that...

With up to 80 percent of the weight of a soldier’s gear attributable to batteries, the U.S. Army is obviously interested in replacement technologies that deliver a reliable, reusable power source. Chemical Engineering students at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey believe their invention of a microreactor that can convert everyday fossil fuels such as butane and propane into pure hydrogen for fuel cell batteries might be the answer.  Read More

A Harvard team is developing a microbial fuel cell-based mobile phone charger, that would ...

There's no doubt that residents of developing nations can benefit hugely from having mobile phones. This particularly applies to the field of medicine, as the phones allow people living in remote areas to contact health care practitioners, or to use health care apps. Given how unreliable the electrical grid can be in such countries, however, keeping those phones charged can be a challenge. That's why a team from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is working on a microbial fuel cell-based charger – a mobile phone charging system that gets its power from microbes in the soil.  Read More

Spanish researchers have created the dAlh2Orean, a radio-controlled model car that creates...

As anyone who has seen Back to the Future will remember, the movie ended with Doc Brown fueling the time-traveling DeLorean’s “Mr. Fusion” reactor with household waste. Well, a student and a professor from the School of Industrial and Aeronautic Engineering at Barcelona’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) have taken a step towards making that scenario a reality by adapting a radio-controlled model car to run on hydrogen fuel derived from waste aluminum and water. In a nod to the movie, they have named the car the dAlh2Orean ... as in, d-aluminum-water-rean.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 29,477 articles