HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » University of Delaware di...

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:03 PM

University of Delaware discovery is boon for 'green' hydrogen fuel

March 26, 2015 | Jessica McDonald | Newsworks.org

Researchers at the University of Delaware have found a much cheaper way to produce hydrogen fuel, a promising renewable energy source that can be made from water.

"Compared to the fossil fuels we use, hydrogen fuel doesn't have any carbon in it," said Feng Jiao, a chemical engineer at the University of Delaware. "If you look at the end product, it's not carbon dioxide. Actually, it's water."

Dr. Feng Jiao, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, is working on developing cheap alternatives to platinum for use in hydrogen fuel cells. (Image courtesy of the University of Delaware)

One of the hurdles in making the technology mainstream, however, is its high cost. Producing hydrogen fuel from water requires precious metal catalysts to drive the reaction. Platinum is the standard, and, currently, it's more than $1,000 an ounce...

...The result has the potential to radically change the economic calculus of creating hydrogen fuel in an environmentally friendly way. But first, reactions with the new catalyst will have to be scaled up for commercial use a process that Jiao estimates might take a few years...MORE


The R&D has barely begun. It would be farther along if Obama and Chu didn't cut funding in 2009.

Of course, one can take the view that research is worthless...

"These demonstration projects you keep promoting here are neither scalable nor replicable nor economical even if we imagine future technologies." - a revealing post by NYC_SKP, who can evidently see the future, like Miss Cleo

3 replies, 762 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply University of Delaware discovery is boon for 'green' hydrogen fuel (Original post)
nationalize the fed Mar 2015 OP
Kelvin Mace Mar 2015 #1
mackdaddy Mar 2015 #2
caraher Mar 2015 #3

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 11:06 PM

1. Hydrogen has one fundamental flaw


that this process does not solve, the amount of energy you need to make the hydrogen exceeds what you get out of it. At the moment it takes about 60kWh of electricty to make a kg of hydrogen. The only currently available to buy hydrogen vehicle I am aware of, the Hyundai Tuscon, gets about 47 miles from a kg of Hydrogen. For the same amount of electricty, my Leaf will go about 180+ miles.

Also, hydrogen fueling stations are VERY expensive and while many have been promised, few have been built. Meanwhile, electrical sockets are everywhere already and fast charger networks are already being built nationwide. 89% of American drive less than 35 miles a day, well within the 60-80 mile range of the current generation of battery electric vehicles on the market. And while the current new models cost $30K and up, a slew of the cars are coming off leases with low miles and steep discounts of 60% off the new price or higher.

If you need something with range, then the Chevy Volt is the answer since it will run for 35 miles off its battery before firing up its small gasoline generator to power the car.

Hydrogen does have some potential use for powering heavy trucks or even trains, but those uses are far down the road.

Meanwhile, in the next two years, Nissan is promising to double the Leaf's range (120-160 miles real world), Chevy has the 2nd gen Volt coming out with a 50 miles initial range, and are promising a 200 mile BEV in 2017. Tesla has also promised a 200+ mile range model with a sub $40K price tag in the same time frame.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 11:55 PM

2. A More complet article on this, and the original paper.

From the university release:

The complete scientific paper on this.

What I get out of the tech jargon is that if they can scale this then the initial cost of the equipment to split the water molecules into Hydrogen and Oxygen will be less, as the active component of the electrolyzer will use less costly metals to make.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Mar 27, 2015, 12:08 AM

3. Yes, the ability to do simple arithmetic is equivalent to seeing the future like Miss Cleo

I'm sure it must seem like paranormal magic; let's instead make policy judgments based on industry press releases, since, to quote the infamous talking Barbie, "math is hard."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread