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Sunday, July 31, 2005

New Material for Fuel Cells

Paul Kenis testing a microscale reformer.
Paul Kenis testing a microscale reformer.
Credit: University of Illinois
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a material that can make reforming of hydrocarbon fuels more efficient. "These novel materials show great promise for the on-demand reforming of hydrocarbons such as diesel fuel into hydrogen for portable power sources," said Paul Kenis. For a material to be useful in a reformer it has to have a high surface area, be stable at high temperatures, and be easy to push the fuel through (have a low pressure drop). The material the team created has all of these properties. The design has been shown to strip hydrogen from ammonia at up to 1000C. Allowing fuel for fuel cells to be stored in a safer and less volatile form could pave the way for fuel cells to be used commercially.

(More info: University of Illinois)

- posted by Jim @ 18:06 EST