Researchers from the Washington State University have realized a significant advance in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).
Such a thing could turn the low-polluting and highly energy-efficient technology into a more effective alternative to gasoline combustion engines for powering cars. Here is what you should know.
Fuel Cell Can Convert Electricity and Gasoline Efficiently
Researchers have recently developed an inexpensive nanoparticle catalyst that enables the fuel cell to convert electricity and gasoline without hindering out during the electrochemical process. The research could result in highly efficient gasoline-fueled vehicles that produce low carbon dioxide emissions.
The fuel cells provide a highly efficient method to convert the chemical energy in fuels straight into electrical energy. They resemble somehow the batteries that we use so much because they have a cathode, electrolyte, and anode. But unlike those batteries, which only generate the electricity they have stored before, fuel cells can provide a continuous flow of power as long as they have fuel.
Because they use electrochemical reactions instead of making a piston execute mechanical stuff, fuel cells can be more productive than the combustion engines in people’s cars. Also, when hydrogen is utilized as fuel, water is the only thing wasted.
The developed SOFC tech can work on a wide variety of liquid fuels, like diesel or gasoline, or even bio-based diesel fuels. The best part is that it doesn’t need the use of expensive metals in their catalysts. Vehicles powered by gasoline SOFCs could utilize existing gas stations.
For their SOFC fuel cell, researchers utilized a catalyst made from nickel. Then, they added molybdenum, the nanoparticles of the element. Testing their molybdenum-doped catalyst, researchers discovered that the fuel cell could work for 24 hours without fail. The system was also resistant to sulfur poisoning and carbon build-up.
Liquid fuel cell tech has vast possibilities for different power-fueled markets, such as transportations applications. The researchers plan now to team up with the automotive industry to build fuel cells that can work under longer-lasting and real-world conditions.