Longer-lasting Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Materials scientists at Harvard have created a fuel cell that not only produces energy but also stores it, opening up new possibilities in hydrogen fuel cell technologies. The solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) converts hydrogen into electricity, and could have an impact on small-scale portable energy applications.
The thin-film SOFC benefited from recent advances in low-temperature operations, which enabled the integration of versatile materials, said lead researcher Shriram Ramantham. The key component of the new cell is vanadium oxide, a multifunctional material that allows the fuel cell to multitask as both an energy generator and storage medium.
The new fuel cell uses a bi-layer of platinum and vanadium oxide for the anode, which allows the cell to continue operating without fuel for up to 14 times as long as the thin-film SOFCs that use platinum only for the electrodes.
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