Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Hydrogen

Two of the different shapes in which graphene grains can form, using traditional productio...

Graphene, the "wonder material" composed of single-atom-thick carbon sheets, is currently finding its way into a variety of electronic devices including computer chips, capacitors, transistors and batteries, just to name a few. It is typically created using a chemical vapor deposition process, in which carbon-containing gases are made to decompose on a copper foil substrate. The performance of the material may be limited, however, due to the fact that the individual graphene grains in one sheet are not of a consistent size or shape, and usually are larger than a single crystal. That could be about to change, though, as a new production method that utilizes hydrogen gas is promising higher-performance graphene with uniform, single-crystal grains.  Read More

The ZEHST concept (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag)

EADS has used the opening day of the 2011 Paris Airshow to showcase an aircraft of the future concept which contemplates speeds beyond Mach 4, meaning it could make the run from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours. The ZEHST (Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport) study incorporates three different propulsion systems and could carry passengers to heights of 100,000 feet (32 km) while still meeting the projected European Commission targets for reduced noise, CO2 and NOX emissions by 2050. Blue sky indeed!  Read More

The go anywhere Aqua hybrid hovercraft concept

This futuristic, zero emissions hovercraft concept won't be gracing our wilderness zones any time soon but it definitely merits a mention. Dubbed the "Aqua Volkswagen," the concept was created by Zhang Yuhan, a 21 year old graduate in Industrial Design at Xihua University, China. The concept is a finalist submission in the CDN China Car Awards, a competition created to reward the creativity of young designers. The brief for entrants was to create a "Chinese off-road vehicle" by Volkswagen with "go-anywhere" capabilities to tackle the vast expanse of wild countryside in China.  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

Hydrogen generated from sunlight and ethanol

An international team of scientists has announced success in creating hydrogen at ambient temperature and pressure using a combination of sunlight and ethanol. The team of researchers from Spain’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Scotland’s University of Aberdeen and New Zealand’s University of Auckland say the method is potentially cheaper, produces higher yields and, because no high temperatures or pressures are required, uses less energy than conventional methods.  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

Dr. Mohamed Halabi, with his lab setup for performing sorption enhanced catalytic reformin...

Hydrogen is certainly one of the big candidates when it comes to finding cleaner fuels to replace petroleum. While it only produces water when burnt as fuel, the process of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas is not quite so eco-friendly – it consumes a lot of energy, and creates carbon dioxide. Now a new process being developed at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) promises a much more efficient, innocuous alternative.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz F-Cell roadshow hits continent number three

Having crossed Europe and North America, the Mercedes-Benz F-Cell roadshow is now in Australia where the green-painted B-Class F-CELL cars are making the long trek from Sydney to Perth. Surrounding the small fleet is an entourage of more than a dozen vehicles including SUVs, Sprinter vans set up as mobile workshops and refuel stations and a semi-trailer laden with striking red full-length cylinders of hydrogen.  Read More

A scientific team including Christian Kisielowski, Anne Ruminski, Rizia Bardhan and Jeff U...

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a composite material that they claim can store hydrogen densely and safely, yet that also allows it to be easily accessed for creating electricity. Some materials that are currently used for hydrogen storage have a relatively small capacity, and need to be superheated or supercooled in order to work at peak efficiency. The new material, however, is said not to have either of these limitations.  Read More

Hydrogen has great potential as a clean fuel source for powering our cars and airplanes, but it also poses some big hurdles – in particular, how to store it. Making practical use of hydrogen in gas or liquid form raises difficulties in terms of volume and pressurization – a hydrogen gas tank for a car would need to be around four times larger than current petroleum tanks. Another possible solution is the use of solid state hydrogen and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), along with the University of Glasgow, hope to boost this approach by developing a new storage system using materials modified at the nanoscale that receive and release the hydrogen at a faster rate.  Read More

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