2-in-1 device also uses supercapacitor to store energy that could power computers and smartphones
UCLA researchers have designed a device that can use solar energy to inexpensively and efficiently create and store energy, which could be used to power electronic devices, and to create hydrogen fuel for eco-friendly cars.
The device could make hydrogen cars affordable for many more consumers because it produces hydrogen using nickel, iron and cobalt — elements that are much more abundant and less expensive than the platinum and other precious metals that are currently used to produce hydrogen fuel.
“Hydrogen is a great fuel for vehicles: It is the cleanest fuel known, it’s cheap and it puts no pollutants into the air — just water,” said Richard Kaner, the study’s senior author and a UCLA distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of materials science and engineering. “And this could dramatically lower the cost of hydrogen cars.”
The technology, described in a paper in the journal Energy Storage Materials, could be especially useful in rural areas, or to military units serving in remote locations.
“People need fuel to run their vehicles and electricity to run their devices,” Kaner said. “Now you can make both electricity and fuel with a single device.”
It could also be part of a solution for large cities that need ways to store surplus electricity from their electrical grids.
“If you could convert electricity to hydrogen, you could store it indefinitely,” said Kaner, who also is a member of UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute.
Traditional hydrogen fuel cells and supercapacitors have two electrodes: one positive and one negative. The device developed at UCLA has a third electrode that acts as both a supercapacitor, which stores energy, and as a device for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, a process called water electrolysis. All three electrodes connect to a single solar cell that serves as the device’s power source, and the electrical energy harvested by the solar cell can be stored in one of two ways: electrochemically in the supercapacitor or chemically as hydrogen.
The device also is a step forward because it produces hydrogen fuel in an environmentally friendly way. Currently, about 95 percent of hydrogen production worldwide comes from converting fossil fuels such as natural gas into hydrogen — a process that releases large quantities of carbon dioxide into the air, said Maher El-Kady, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher and a co-author of the research.
“Hydrogen energy is not ‘green’ unless it is produced from renewable sources,” El-Kady said. He added that using solar cells and abundantly available elements to split water into hydrogen and oxygen has enormous potential for reducing the cost of hydrogen production and that the approach could eventually replace the current method, which relies on fossil fuels.
Combining a supercapacitor and the water-splitting technology into a single unit, Kaner said, is an advance similar to the first time a phone, web browser and camera were combined on a smartphone. The new technology may eventually lead to new applications that even the researchers haven’t considered yet, Kaner said.
The researchers designed the electrodes at the nanoscale — thousands of times thinner than the thickness of a human hair — to ensure the greatest surface area would be exposed to water, which increases the amount of hydrogen the device can produce and also stores more charge in the supercapacitor. Although the device the researchers made would fit in the palm of your hand, Kaner said it would be possible to make larger versions because the components are inexpensive.
“For hydrogen cars to be widely used, there remains a need for a technology that safely stores large quantities of hydrogen at normal pressure and temperature, instead of the pressurized cylinders that are currently in use,” said Mir Mousavi, a co-author of the paper and a professor of chemistry at Iran’s Tarbiat Modares University.
The Latest on: Hydrogen production and storage
- Real Energy is developing hydrogen and distribution hubson January 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm
Real Energy has formed a joint venture Liberty Hydrogen to develop four hydrogen manufacturing and distribution hubs on Australia's east coast.
- DOE Announces $160 Million for Projects to Improve Fossil-Based Hydrogen Production, Transport, Storage, and Utilizationon January 19, 2021 at 4:41 pm
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy announced plans to make $160 million in federal funding available. he Official Newspaper of Record in Los Alamos County. This Site and all ...
- Global Green Hydrogen Production Set to Reach 5.7 Million Tons by 2030 Powered by Decarbonization Finds Frost & Sullivanon January 19, 2021 at 12:40 pm
Push to decarbonize industries and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 will create lucrative opportunities in the green hydrogen market, finds Frost & Sullivan. Frost & Sullivan’s ...
- McDermott Awarded Liquid Hydrogen Storage Studyon January 19, 2021 at 10:45 am
McDermott International, Ltd today announced that its CB&I Storage Solutions business has been awarded a study by a leading natural gas producer to research opportunities to expand current liquid ...
- Study Says Global Green Hydrogen Production to Skyrocket 57% to 2030on January 19, 2021 at 8:08 am
A new study forecasts that global green hydrogen production will skyrocket at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57% between 2019 and 2030.
- Global Green Hydrogen Production Set to Reach 5.7 Million Tons by 2030, Powered by Decarbonizationon January 19, 2021 at 5:18 am
Push to decarbonize industries and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 will create lucrative opportunities in the green hydrogen market, finds ...
- Disruptive Innovations in Production, Storage and Transportation of Hydrogen - Foreseeing Challenges and Solutionson January 19, 2021 at 12:38 am
The "Disruptive Innovations in Production, Storage and Transportation of Hydrogen" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. Transition to a sustainable energy economy requires an ...
- Offshore hydrogen production powered by floating PVon January 15, 2021 at 4:31 am
Spain’s Repsol will develop a €4.5 million ($5.5 million) pilot project to produce green hydrogen with floating PV for the Santander Port Authority. It will be completed in December 2023.
- Total and ENGIE partner on France’s largest green hydrogen production facilityon January 14, 2021 at 7:54 am
Energy companies Total and ENGIE have partnered to design, build and operate the largest green hydrogen production facility in France. The Masshylia project will be built in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues ...
- Construction to Begin on France’s Largest Renewable Hydrogen Production Siteon January 13, 2021 at 9:08 am
A cooperation agreement has been signed to design, develop, build, and operate the Masshylia project, France's largest renewable hydrogen production site.
via Google News and Bing News