Tagged With fuel cells

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The world is slowly, but inevitably, moving away from petrol and diesel as the motive power source for cars and trucks. Some vehicle manufacturers are adopting hybrid drivetrains as a stopgap, but even longtime fossil fuel burners like Volkswagen are investing in clean tech like battery energy storage. As well as being a leader in hybrid tech, Toyota is throwing its considerable weight behind hydrogen fuel cells — and the first three cars using the tech have just been delivered to Australian shores.

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Battery life on modern gadgets sucks — so why not power your mobile devices with something a little more potent like, err, jet fuel? That's the idea of researchers from the University of Utah, who think that fuel cells could efficiently be made to run using the same fuel as fighter jets.

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The Iowa Army Ammunition Plant (IAAAP) in Middletown, Iowa, has an overabundance of two things: corn waste and excess energetics — leftover explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics and such. But using a new ethanol-based fuel cell developed by nanoMaterials Discovery Corp (nMDC) will transform these waste materials into clean, cheap, electricity. Two birds, one catalytic reaction.

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One day, fuel cells may very well be a cheap source of power for all of our electronics. But that day isn't here yet, and from the looks of things, isn't arriving anytime soon. A company called Lilliputian Systems has hooked up with Brookstone to create another fuel cell charger called the Nectar that promises to fully top off a smartphone from 10 to 14 times with a single recyclable cartridge, but at a premium.

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Scientists have pinpointed two types of stratospheric bacteria and transformed it into a slimy film that doubles the efficiency of fuel cells that run on microbes. It could mean power for underdeveloped locales that currently don't have electricity.