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Direct from Biomass to Hydrogen

hydrogenreactorMany hopes are placed on the hydrogen economy, but for all those hopes, there sure aren't a lot of good ways to get hydrogen without burning a bunch of fossil fuels. But research being done at the University of Minnesota has efficiently created hydrogen from non-volatile sources such as Soybean Oil and buy viagra for women uk dissolved glucose. This new process does away with the need to convert raw bio-mass to something volatile (ethanol / methane / etc) in order to produce hydrogen.

Small droplets of the non-volatile biomass are sprayed onto a super-hot metal catalyst that converts the carbohydrates (glucose) to carbon monoxide and hydrogen extremely rapidly. The breakup of levitra oral gel the molecules produces a lot of heat (think of burning vegetation) which actually keeps the catalyst hot so it requires no external heating. The hydrogen can then be captured for fuel, and the levitra profissonal canadian pharmacy CO can either be captured and used as a mixing agent for the combustion of the hydrogen, or converted to CO2 (which is the CO2 that the vegetation fixed in the first place, so it is a carbon neutral process.)
If this can be scaled up and cost effectively utilized, it could easily be the technology that makes the hydrogen economy an actual possibility. And if it could be adapted to convert cellulosic biomass, like agricultural and yard waste, into hydrogen and CO2, then we would have a technology that would change the face of the world forever.

Via TechnologyReview

Flying Fuel Cell


An airplane, created at Georgia Tech. recently took a test flight that may go down in history.  The plane, an unmanned vehicle with a 22 foot wing span, was powered entirely by a 500 watt, compressed hydrogen fuel-cell. 
It couldn't have been particularly easy, as most planes require much more than 500 watts, and we'll have to good choice viagra china wait a while before one of these things can carry a person around.  But it's a first step towards greening a terribly necessary, but terribly fossil-fuel dependant sector of our economy. 

The vehicle runs on compressed hydrogen, which is much less expensive and easier to work with than liquid hydrogen, which has powered UAVs in the past.  How easy is compressed hydrogen to work with?  Well, the hydrogen was stored in a tank designed for paintball guns, a fairly inexpensive technique.  As they continue to modify the design, they hope to build a compressed hydrogen powered UAV capable of trans-Atlantic flight. 

"As significant as it is, we are not merely developing a one-of-a-kind airplane. We’re working to define a systems engineering approach for fuel-cell powered flight."

-- David Parekh, Founder of Georgia Tech’s Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologie
Via EcoFriend 
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