In a ground-breaking development, researchers at Washington State University have made a significant advancement in solid oxide fuel cells. Consequently, the low-polluting and highly energy-efficient technology could be a sustainable alternative to petrol combustion engines for powering vehicles.
The study carried out by two researchers involved developing a rare and affordable nanoparticle catalyst that enables the fuel cell to transform logistic liquid fuels such as petrol to electricity without interrupting during the electrochemical process. The study is published in the journal, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental. As a result of the research, it could enable highly efficient gasoline-fueled cars that release low carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global warming.
“Individuals are concerned about environment, energy, and global warming,” said the lead researcher of the study. The solution to the energy problem has enabled reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.
Structurally Similar to Batteries, Fuel Cells superior for Energy Generation
Fuel cells are a clean and highly efficient medium to transform chemical energy in fuels directly into electrical energy. Akin to batteries, fuel cells have an anode, a cathode, and electrolyte. Meanwhile, fuel cells can transmit continuous flow of electricity as long as there is fuel contrary to batteries that deliver previously stored electricity.
Also, fuel cells can serve to be more efficient than combustion engines in cars. This is because fuel cells run on electrochemical reactions instead of mechanical work carried out by a piston. In fuel cells, if hydrogen is used as fuel the only waste released is water. Nonetheless, storing high-pressure hydrogen gas for hydrogen fuel cell technology, accounts for its share of significant economic and safety challenges. In the U.S., hydrogen gas infrastructure is limited, thus penetration of the technology is very low.