Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Making A Cleaner, Cheaper Fuel Cell

Date:
August 23, 2001
Source:
University Of Missouri-Rolla
Summary:
Fueled by a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla are working to develop a cheaper and more efficient fuel cell -- a technology that holds promise as a clean, alternative energy source.

ROLLA, Mo. -- Fueled by a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla are working to develop a cheaper and more efficient fuel cell -- a technology that holds promise as a clean, alternative energy source.

Related Articles


The three-year project, which begins Oct. 1 and involves one other university, two national research laboratories and a private fuel cell maker, is part of a national effort by the Energy Department. The initiative aims to make fuel cells an economical power source by the end of this decade.

The UMR-led project involves the fabrication and testing of solid oxide fuel cells, with the ultimate goal of developing a cell capable of producing 5 kilowatts of electricity -- enough to power an average house -- at a cost of about $400 per kilowatt-hour.

Fuel cells function much like conventional batteries. Unlike batteries, however, they do not run down or require recharging. They also are efficient at creating electricity and are cleaner sources of energy than coal, which is the primary source of electric power. Fuel cells consist of two electrodes sandwiched around an electrolyte, or membrane. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other, generating electricity, water and heat.

The goal for UMR researchers is to create a fuel cell that operates at a cool 750 degrees Celsius (842 degrees Fahrenheit) or below. One major drawback to current fuel cell technology is that it requires extremely high temperatures, as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 degrees Fahrenheit), to get the zirconium membrane to convert gas into electricity. But the UMR-led consortium is attempting to build a cell that not only functions at cooler temperatures, but also is less costly to build.

"The reason fuel cells have not entered into the marketplace is because of the costs involved," says Dr. Harlan Anderson, Curators' Professor emeritus of ceramic engineering and director of UMR's Electronic Materials Applied Research Laboratory (EMARC). "The end result of this project will be a demonstration of the technology," says Anderson, who is leading the research effort

The three-year project is a $3.5 million effort in all, with the $2.8 million federal grant matched by $700,000 in funds from UMR, EMARC and two of the consortium members, Akers Industries Inc. of Oakland, Calif., and the University of Colorado-Boulder. Working with UMR, UC-Boulder and Akers on the project is the Energy Department's National Renewable Energies Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley.

The recent energy crunch in the United States and elsewhere has renewed interest in fuel cells as an alternative energy source, says Anderson. Automobile manufacturers are already in the process of developing vehicles that are powered by fuel cells. In the future, some vehicles may use fuel cells as part of a "hybrid" system, combined with traditional gas engines.

"The automobiles are using more electricity than they ever have, and it would be nice to have an additional power supply," Anderson says.

In addition, the Energy Department is interested in developing a stand-alone power generator for the trucking industry that would be more efficient than the typical diesel engine, he says.

In the UMR project, Anderson and his team on campus will manage the overall effort as well as characterize and select the materials to be used in construction of the fuel cell. Working with Anderson is Dr. Vladimir Petrovsky, a UMR research professor working with EMARC, and some graduate students. Akers Industries will fabricate the fuel cells, while the National Renewable Energies Laboratory and the University of Colorado-Boulder develop the membrane technology for the cells. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, meanwhile, will develop the interconnection for the fuel cells. Once the cells are created, UMR researchers will test them and report the results to the Energy Department.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri-Rolla. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri-Rolla. "Making A Cleaner, Cheaper Fuel Cell." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 August 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010823083902.htm>.
University Of Missouri-Rolla. (2001, August 23). Making A Cleaner, Cheaper Fuel Cell. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010823083902.htm
University Of Missouri-Rolla. "Making A Cleaner, Cheaper Fuel Cell." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/08/010823083902.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins