Hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy carrier that can power vehicles, with water as the only emission. Unfortunately, hydrogen gas is highly flammable when mixed with air, so very efficient and effective sensors are needed. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, present the first hydrogen sensors ever to meet the future performance targets for use in hydrogen powered vehicles.
?The researchers’ ground-breaking results were recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Materials.? The discovery is an optical nanosensor encapsulated in a plastic material. The sensor works based on an optical phenomenon – a plasmon – which occurs when metal nanoparticles are illuminated and capture visible light. The sensor simply changes colour when the amount of hydrogen in the environment changes.
The plastic around the tiny sensor is not just for protection, but functions as a key component. It increases the sensor’s response time by accelerating the uptake of the hydrogen gas molecules into the metal particles where they can be detected. At the same time, the plastic acts as an effective barrier to the environment, preventing any other molecules from entering and deactivating the sensor. The sensor can therefore work both highly efficiently and undisturbed, enabling it to meet the rigorous demands of the automotive industry – to be capable of detecting 0.1 percent hydrogen in the air in less than a second.
“We have not only developed the world’s fastest hydrogen sensor, but also a sensor that is stable over time and does not deactivate. Unlike today’s hydrogen sensors, our solution does not need to be recalibrated as often, as it is protected by the plastic,” says Ferry Nugroho, a researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.
It was during his time as a PhD student that Ferry Nugroho and his supervisor Christoph Langhammer realised that they were on to something big. After reading a scientific article stating that no one had yet succeeded in achieving the strict response time requirements imposed on hydrogen sensors for future hydrogen cars, they tested their own sensor. They realised that they were only one second from the target – without even trying to optimise it. The plastic, originally intended primarily as a barrier, did the job better than they could have imagined, by also making the sensor faster. The discovery led to an intense period of experimental and theoretical work.
“In that situation, there was no stopping us. We wanted to find the ultimate combination of nanoparticles and plastic, understand how they worked together and what made it so fast. Our hard work yielded results. Within just a few months, we achieved the required response time as well as the basic theoretical understanding of what facilitates it,” says Ferry Nugroho.
Detecting hydrogen is challenging in many ways. The gas is invisible and odourless, but volatile and extremely flammable. It requires only four percent hydrogen in the air to produce oxyhydrogen gas, sometimes known as knallgas, which ignites at the smallest spark. In order for hydrogen cars and the associated infrastructure of the future to be sufficiently safe, it must therefore be possible to detect extremely small amounts of hydrogen in the air. The sensors need to be quick enough that leaks can be rapidly detected before a fire occurs.
?“It feels great to be presenting a sensor that can hopefully be a part of a major breakthrough for hydrogen-powered vehicles. The interest we see in the fuel cell industry is inspiring,” says Christoph Langhammer, Professor at Chalmers Department of Physics.
Although the aim is primarily to use hydrogen as an energy carrier, the sensor also presents other possibilities. Highly efficient hydrogen sensors are needed in the electricity network industry, the chemical and nuclear power industry, and can also help improve medical diagnostics.
“The amount of hydrogen gas in our breath can provide answers to, for example, inflammations and food intolerances. We hope that our results can be used on a broad front. This is so much more than a scientific publication,” says Christoph Langhammer.
In the long run, the hope is that the sensor can be manufactured in series in an efficient manner, for example using 3D printer technology.
The Latest on: Hydrogen sensor
via Google News
The Latest on: Hydrogen sensor
- Mobile service busts engine carbon to restore 'super' performanceon January 21, 2021 at 7:55 am
A new engine cleaning service out of Metropolis, Ill., offers a sustainable solution that uses hydrogen and water rather than harsh chemicals.
- NASA SLS Core Stage aborts high-stakes Green Run static fireon January 19, 2021 at 4:53 am
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) program and Core Stage prime contractor Boeing were ready for the big moment of the rocket’s Green Run campaign and the biggest moment in the 10-year old program, a ...
- Enapter H2 Valley selected for Mission Innovation Hydrogenon January 19, 2021 at 2:58 am
The European Commission today unveiled the Mission Innovation Hydrogen Valley platform, which highlights 32 large-scale hydrogen flagship projects around the world. The platform will present these ...
- Plastic-free sachets and hydrogen-powered F1 cars: The best green innovations from CES 2021on January 19, 2021 at 12:02 am
From big-name corporates to tiny startups, the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw thousands of companies showcase their newest tech-based innovations. Here, edie rounds up some of the biggest ...
- Growth Opportunities in Plastic Degradation, Self-Healing Concrete, Hydrogen Production, and Software Inspection Tools, 2020 Report - ResearchAndMarkets.comon January 12, 2021 at 10:50 am
The "2020 Growth Opportunities in Plastic Degradation, Self-Healing Concrete, Hydrogen Production, and Software Inspection Tools" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. This ...
- The automotive industry has got SPAC madness, and it may not end wellon January 12, 2021 at 8:37 am
With technology disrupting the automotive industry, investors have raced to secure exposure to potential winners—whether battery makers, manufacturers of other forms of power storage or developers of ...
- Hydrogen Sensor Market 2021 Top Manufacturers, Share, Production, Sales, Supply, Demand, Trends and Forecast to 2025on January 11, 2021 at 8:14 pm
Global “ Hydrogen Sensor Market ” research report contains in depth information of major manufacturers, growth opportunities, drivers and challenges, industry trends, and their impact on the market ...
- Explorer Horn pursues rally fueled by hydrogenon January 10, 2021 at 8:09 am
Mike Horn made his name by walking to some of the world’s remotest spots, but at the Dakar Rally, he is in a diesel car, trying to navigate the Saudi Arabian desert with the aim of “conserving the ...
- Russia vs. Germany vs. America: Who Has the Best Submarines?on January 8, 2021 at 6:03 am
Let us rank the best boats of the German, American, and Russian navies. Key point: Each of these countries knows how to make good submarines. But which, if any, come out clearly on top? The German ...
- Hydrogen Pressure Sensors Must Withstand Extreme Pressures without Corrosion for Hydrogen-Powered Vehicleson January 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm
While hydrogen is the lightest element, it poses two major corrosion problems for pressure sensors: embrittlement and permeation. Both corrosive actions lead to pressure-sensor failure.
via Bing News