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Hydrogen

Hydrogen storage breakthrough

Hydrogen offers many benefits as a renewable and sustainable fuel of the future as its combustion emits only water. The main problem to now is that it must be stored as a gas, which is potentially dangerous for everyday use, and it can only be stored as a liquid under cryogenic conditions. Now there may be another alternative. Chemists in the US have developed a simple reaction to make ammonia borane (AB) – a powder more hydrogen-dense than even liquid hydrogen. AB is a stable white powder which releases hydrogen gas upon heating. Its use as a hydrogen storage material has been hampered by difficulties in making the powder in reasonable yield, but the new research further increases its promise.  Read More

Scorpion: hydrogen on demand system

Texas based Ronn Motor Company has lifted the wraps on a new environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle that features an in-built hydrogen on demand system. Currently in pre-production and due for release before the end of the year, the sporty “Scorpion” runs on a 30-40 ratio blend of hydrogen and gasoline, promising reduced emissions and 40 mpg plus efficiency.  Read More

A London black cab

May 23, 2008 While improvements in engine technology have led to a marked improvement in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions in vehicles running on internal combustion engines in recent years, even greater cuts in emissions need to be made to tackle the global environmental problems associated with them. We’ve seen commercial airlines turning to biofuels, trucks running on liquefied natural gas and buses using ethanol engines. One of the most promising solutions for the humble car of the future could is hydrogen fuel cell systems, with a number of car manufacturers investing heavily in development.  Read More

April 4, 2008 Here’s a futuristic, car-related technology you won’t see in the next summer sci-fi blockbuster: the algae-powered automobile. Some varieties of the unicellular plant are being tweaked to produce of hydrogen, which can be used to power efficient, environmentally clean vehicles. Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory believe that algae’s ability to grow pretty much anywhere will enable it to be the energy farm of the near future.  Read More

ITM and Roush Technologies to collaborate on hydrogen vehicles

April 2, 2008 Fifty million metric tons of hydrogen were produced in 2004, and the hydrogen production industry grows at an estimated 10% per year. But for hydrogen-powered cars to emerge as a serious competitor to fossil-fuel-powered transport there still needs to be substantial development of infrastructure. The latest push towards this goal in the U.K has seen ITM Power Plc and Roush Technologies Ltd sign a co-operative agreement that not only aims to put hydrogen-fueled commercial vehicles on the market within months, but also encompasses the development of hydrogen refueling station infrastructure that will enable vehicle operators to generate their own hydrogen supplies.  Read More

Carbon capture for automobiles

February 18, 2008 Carbon capture and storage has been touted as a method for slashing carbon emissions in power plants – now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say it can be used to combat one of the most widespread greenhouse gas offenders: the automobile. Georgia Tech has outlined a concept system where carbon is isolated from fossil fuels, disposed of at a refueling station, and eventually recycled into new fuel. Not only is the closed-loop cycle carbon emission free, it is also renewable and efficient.  Read More

H2GO hydrogen fuel cell powered radio controlled toy car

February 7, 2008 The automotive market is set to undergo momentous change over the next decade as the impetus of low-emissions, alternative fuel designs that have recently dominated the Concept offerings from major auto manufacturers continues to grow and prototypes move towards commercialization. But at the other end of the scale - literally - the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in particular is already making its mark. The latest example comes from toy-maker Corgi International, which has unveiled a new hydrogen fuel cell powered radio controlled toy car at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Germany. Called the H2GO, the new RC car uses a propulsion system based on Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies' pioneering H-Racer.  Read More

Energy Island sketch

January 29, 2008 Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion uses the temperature difference between surface and deep-sea water to generate electricity – and though it has an efficiency of just 1-3% - researchers believe an OTEC power plant could deliver up to 250MW of clean power, equivalent to one eighth of a large nuclear power plant, or one quarter of an average fossil fuel power plant. Architect and engineer Dominic Michaelis and his son Alex, along with Trevor Cooper-Chadwick of Southampton University are developing the concept with plans of putting the theory to the test on an unprecedented scale by building a floating, hexagonal Energy Island that will harness energy from OTEC, as well as from winds, sea currents, waves, and the sun.  Read More

Honda's FCX Clarity and Home Energy Station IV

It seems Honda is gearing up to be the one of the first major companies to bring a hydrogen fuel cell car to market – their FCX Clarity is set to go to production in 2008, in a move they’re hoping will break the catch-22 dilemma stopping motor companies from producing cars because there’s no hydrogen distribution, and stopping fuel companies from distributing hydrogen because there’s no cars that use it. To nurse consumers through the infancy of the hydrogen economy, Honda’s also attempting to decentralize the production of hydrogen through their Home Energy Station unit, which sits outside your house and reforms natural gas to produce enough Hydrogen to power both the car and the home’s energy needs at around 50% of the normal cost and with a 30% emissions reduction.  Read More

Boeing's HALE aircraft
 Photo Credit: Boeing Illustration - Chuck Schroeder

October 30, 2007 The Boeing Company has achieved a milestone in the development of its High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft by successfully testing a hydrogen propulsion system in simulated conditions of 65,000 feet. The test, conducted over more than three days using a Ford Motor Company-developed hydrogen engine (a gasoline version of which can be found in the Ford Fusion and Escape Hybrid) is a further step towards the realization of a UAV designed to remain airborne for more than seven days and carry multi-sensor payloads of up to 2,000 pounds.  Read More

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