Principle of hydrogen fuel cell technology is converting chemical energy into electricity, not emissions, such as large soot or sulfur oxide waste gas of nitric oxide, its "will only discharge water" slogan is famous, but because hydrogen is difficult to transport, hydrogen fuel infrastructure is still one of the challenges for the technology development, and the federal institute of technology lausanne (EPFL) to solve the problem of fuel transportation, developing new hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Unlike previous versions of hydrogen, the battery prototype is based on formic acid, a liquid state that is easier to transport and refuel.And formic acid can be composed of hydrogen and carbon dioxide reaction, originally is also often used in the agriculture and industry, it has advantage of easy to produce with wide range of USES, if you want to make further use of environmental protection way, according to a 2014 study in Princeton, can also use solar panels to convert carbon dioxide into formic acid.
Formic acid is also a good hydrogen carrier. According to the data, 1 liter of formic acid can produce 590 litres of hydrogen. Therefore, EPFL wants to develop a more cost-effective battery through its characteristics.
Team to develop hydrogen making machine HYFORM, the use of ruthenium catalyst converts formic acid liquid carbon dioxide and hydrogen, then the generated hydrogen gas to the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) to generate power, will only result in the process of carbon dioxide and water.The team added that the carbon dioxide that was emitted could also be recycled and continued to produce more formic acid.
The HYFORM-PEMFC system produces 7,000kWh of electricity a year, with a standard power of 800w, which is equivalent to charging 200 smart phones at the same time, with a 45 percent efficiency.Team, said the fuel cell as a carbon-free energy, also won't produce any nitrogen oxides and particulate, as can be through the oxygen and carbon dioxide waste biomass (oxidating biomass), formic acid is also the so-called environmental little soldiers.
Researchers said the system maintenance cost is low, also do not need to connect power grid, long-acting ruthenium catalyst and relatively cheap, very suitable for use in remote areas, and the team is also constantly looking for cheaper catalyst.