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.
Tagged With fuel cells
In an effort to help spread the adoption and further the development of the hydrogen fuel cell technology the company developed for its FCV concept vehicle — now known as the Mirai — Toyota has announced that it's making approximately 5680 fuel cell patents available for royalty-free use.
A team of scientists in Denmark have invented a crystalline material that can absorb oxygen with astounding efficiency. How astounding? Well, a single spoonful of the stuff can suck all of the oxygen out of a room. The best part is that it can release it again with just a little bit of heat. Say goodbye to bulky oxygen tanks.
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.
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.
The limited capabilities of batteries are the bane of all gadgets, but they're particularly problematic for devices designed to be implanted into humans where simply plugging in a charging cable is impractical. So MIT researchers have nearly perfected a new type of fuel cell that's powered by glucose instead.
We've been promised an exciting future with gadgets perpetually powered by magical fuel cells, and a company called Lilliputian Systems is taking the first steps towards tomorrow with its fuel cell-based USB charger that will soon be available from Brookstone.
Microbial fuel cells may well be the next black (or at least brown) gold. But to tap those anaerobic reserves, we'll need a power station that can run on carbon-rich gas. Something like the DFC-3000 fuel cell — it turns biogas into power 2200 for homes and their hydrogen cars.