Hydrogen cars will soon be launched for the masses, which could revolutionize the automotive industry making them eco-friendly and affordable with the development of a device that creates hydrogen fuel for cars. In addition, this device could be used to empower electronic devices.
The descriptions of the discovery were published in the journal Energy Storage Materials. The research was led by scientists from the University of California.The newly discovered device uses solar energy to store energy that could be used in rural areas, military units who are serving in isolated locations. These hydrogen cars would be affordable for the consumers as it generates hydrogen utilizing iron, cobalt and nickel, which are abundant and less expensive than other metals such as platinum, according to Phys.org.
Richard Kaner, the senior author of the study and a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry and of materials and engineering, said that hydrogen is a great fuel for vehicles. He further said that it is the cleanest fuel known and it's less expensive. It will not generate pollutants into the air rather water only. With this, it could reduce the cost of hydrogen cars.
Kaner added that humans need fuel to run their vehicles and electricity to run their devices. With this discovery, you could make both electricity and fuel with a single device. This hydrogen fuel is generated in environmentally friendly way.The hydrogen is produced through the use of solar energy that could be conducted by water electrolysis and direct solar water splitting. The UCLA researchers created the device, which consists of a third electrode that serves as a supercapacitor that stores energy and water electrolysis. It is known that the conventional hydrogen fuel cells and supercapacitors have two electrodes namely the positive and negative.
The three electrodes are attached to a solar cell that acts as the power source of the device. Meanwhile, the stored electrical energy by the solar cells could generate in one or two ways -- electrochemically in the supercapacitor or chemically as hydrogen, according to Science Daily.
The scientists also make the electrodes about thousands of times thinner than the thickness of a human hair. This is to protect the vast area that would be exposed to water. They also plan to make a bigger version of the device since the current device made would just fit in the palm of human's hand and also trying to develop a technology that would store large quantities of hydrogen at normal pressure and temperature.
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