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Nanotechnology Spotlight

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 83 in category Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Applications (newest first):

 

An integrated solar-powered energy conversion-storage-utilization system

photoanodeAlmost all strategies for solar energy harvest and solar energy storage that exist today are developed as independent technologies. For instance, a solar cell generates electricity from the absorption and conversion of sunlight, while the storage of the produced electricity has to be implemented with another set of energy utilization solutions such as batteries/supercapacitors and fuel cells. With quite an ingenious solution, researchers have now demonstrated a hybrid, multifunctional material system that allows for simultaneous solar power generation (respectively hydrogen production), electrical energy storage, and chemical sensing.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2014

Improved molten air battery operates at lower temperatures

battery_displayA new class of high-density, rechargeable batteries has the potential to address the 'range anxiety' that is inherent to current electric vehicles by drastically increasing their battery capacity: molten air batteries have up to 50 times the storage capacity of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries reversibly use oxygen from the air to store energy via a molten salt and multiple electrons stored per molecule at the counter electrode.

Posted: May 26th, 2014

Spit on it - Micro fuel cell powered by saliva

micro_fuel_cellBy miniaturizing microbial fuel cells, it becomes possible to build miniature energy harvesters that could power lab-on-chip or point-of-care diagnostics devices independent of any external power source. Because micro-sized microbial fuel cells utilize less electrode area and less liquid fuel volume than their macro-sized counterparts, optimizing the electrodes and the fuel sources are the most important factors in designing a micro-sized MFC for maximum power production.

Posted: Mar 24th, 2014

Self-healing carbon nanotube supercapacitors

cnt_filmsIf you ever had problems with the (non-removable) battery in your iPhone or iPad then you well know that the energy storage or power source is a key component in a tightly integrated electronic device. Any damage to the power source will usually result in the breakdown of the entire device, generating at best inconvenience and cost and in the worst case a safety hazard and your latest contribution to the mountains of electronic waste. A solution to this problem might now be at hand thanks to researchers in Singapore who have successfully fabricated the first mechanically and electrically self-healing supercapacitor.

Posted: Mar 10th, 2014

Origami batteries for deformable electronics (w/video)

foldable_batteryIn order to fabricate entirely flexible electronic devices, the components that power them - such as batteries - not only need to be fully flexible as well but they have to be compatible with commercially available manufacturing technologies. This would require achieving a high degree of deformability without using elastomeric materials. Researchers have now demonstrated the fabrication of a highly deformable lithium-ion battery using standard electrodes and commercially standard packaging technologies.

Posted: Feb 7th, 2014

Loofah sponges as 'green' anode material for microbial fuel cells

loofahIn microbial fuell cells, the anode material as the medium of electron transfer and as the support for biofilm formation is a key component that determines the effectiveness and efficiency of power generation. Generally, the anode will perform better if the anode material has a greater specific surface area and higher affinity for living bacterial cells. The direct carbonization of low-cost and naturally available materials provides a potential alternative to commercial anodes with high specific surface area. In new work, scientists demonstrate a new procedure to generate novel macroporous carbon prepared from a fibrous loofah sponge.

Posted: Dec 17th, 2013

Using peat moss to fabricate high-performance battery anodes

peat_mossResearchers in Canada have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve graphite-like charge/discharge behavior in a sodium ion battery anodes through a controlled dilation of the intergraphene spacing in a tailored carbon. They utilized common peat moss as the carbon precursor, tuning the synthesis process to create macroscopically open nanoscale pseudographitic structures that also offers a unique high rate capability and superb charge-discharge cycling stability.

Posted: Dec 10th, 2013

Vanadium disulfide - a promising new monolayer material for Li-ion batteries

2d_vanadium_disulfideAs researchers continue to develop the use of graphene in energy storage devices, other two-dimensional (2D) inorganic materials like 2D transition metal disulfides have attracted extensive scientific attention. Vanadium disulfide few-layered nanosheets have been recently achieved experimentally, and in new work, scientists systematically investigated the adsorption and diffusion of lithium on the recently synthesized vanadium disulfide monolayer in comparison with MoS2 monolayer and graphite.

Posted: Dec 3rd, 2013