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QuantumSphere to Present New Electrode Design for Hydrogen Electrolysis; Nearly a 7x Increase in H2 Production

Qsi1
Earlier results of QSI electrode development. Click to enlarge.

QuantumSphere, Inc. (QSI) will present the results of its recent research into increasing efficiencies of electrodes made from compressed nano catalysts for hydrogen electrolysis, as well as a new concept in electrode design it calls Stingray, at the upcoming National Hydrogen Association meeting in San Antonio.

The Stingray electrode and system design allows for nearly a sevenfold increase in clean hydrogen production, while maintaining efficiencies in excess of 85%, according to QuantumSphere.

The presentation will also cover the effect of the use of QSI-Nano catalysts mixed with larger electrode components to give hydrogen generation efficiencies “well above the US Department of Energy’s 2010 targets [75%], and well ahead of the literature to date.”

QSI developed a unique electrode structure for alkaline water electrolysis by capitalizing on the enhanced surface area and catalytic reactivity of its nanometal catalysts. The QSI technology also eliminates the need for platinum precious metal catalysts, further reducing electrolyzer cost.

The high surface area metallic nanoparticles have an expanded metal surface facing away from the electrolyte for strength and current collection. The electrodes have tortuous pathways within them to expose orders of magnitude larger surface area to reacting water and to also allow the escape of the gaseous products.

Earlier this year, QSI also announced that it had achieved a 45% enhancement in power for a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) through the use of QSI-Nano Cobalt into the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), along with an almost 50% reduction in cost.

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Comments

Cervus

I guess this might answer the "where are we going to get the hydrogen?" question posed in the last GCC post.

Here comes the nanotechnology.

hydrogen

We are never going to be driving hydrogen cars around. Its a dead end. Get over it and move on.

Cervus

This isn't for directly hydrogen-fueled cars. This hydrogen has a lot of uses, including synthesizing Fischer-Trosph fuels from biomass or coal.

Neil

The question I have is: which current concentration is the target for? Is the lower density useful?

Brad

"We are never going to be driving hydrogen cars around. Its a dead end. Get over it and move on."

Not with that attitude.

Why is it that every time there is a huge leap foreward in hydrogen people are always saying "it's just a scam, electric cars are better, hydrogen will never work" but when a new battery technology comes it's all "see, electric cars are the future". Hydrogen can work just as well as electric, we just need the supporting infrastructure in place. It's 20 years off, but it's coming along.

wintermane

Depends on how much these cost but if they are cheaper then old style due to not using platinum and they realy do belt out alot more h2 and more eff then before then its a gyfe leap forward.

The main cost of h2 production was actauly the cost of the equipment if this can make 7 times the fuel and do it with less energy per kilo then its gona drop the cost of the h2 ALOT.

But we will have to see a generator running for some time to see how it realy pans out. But if it does this litteraly could mean h2 stations selling h2 now for less per kilo then gas is per gallon.

Mark A

Amen, Brad. If Edison and Alexander Graham Bell had this posters' attitude, we would all be in the dark, at night, talking only to those in the same room with us.

Hydrogen, in my opinion will be used in, ever increasing more efficient fuel cells, to power our electric cars. It will also likely supplement our ICE engines in the short term before being phased out for BEV. We can only survive by changing from the carbon based society, to the hydrogen.

Just one solution of many being developed. The future is looking bright. I cant wait.

barry hanson

Hydrogen can be used to chemically reduce CO2 to get methane, a far more practical energy carrier (and end use form of energy for that matter) than H2 itself.

Methane can then be used to produce liquid fuels where they are really needed...methanol, DME, even alkanes where you really need alkanes. Methanol is also the precurser for plastics by using it to make ethylene, propylene, light olefins, etc.

The Bush vision of a so called "hydrogen economy" however is a scam and a smoke screen for their agenda of actually prolonging a fossil fuel economy for the benefit of those folks who were there in May of 2001 developing the Cheney energy plan...which is the real energy policy for the US.

whoknows

who knows

... when we get a hydrogen tank at ~1000-2000$ (which is possible with mass production )
and hydrogen at about 2$ a kgr from renewable energy

then H will be a true option.

wintermane

Actauly we dnt need yh2 ro be 2 bucks a kilo as a car can go a fair distance on very little of it.

What we need is for a car to go about 250 miles on a tank of fuel that costs about 25 bucks.

Oddly enough we can already do that. We just are improving on that metric before we bother to realt go for mass production o the tech.

Alex

increased Electrolysis efficiency means it might be possible to viably produce hydrogen locally. i.e, on site at the filling station. That dramatically reduces the costs and risks assocaited with a larger hydrogen distribution infrastructure. no pipes, no trucks, just thousand of mini electrolysis stations. all probably located on existing gas station sites.

clean electricity powering efficient electrolysis. H2 goes into a tank, and burned in a hydrogen ICE. (forget fule cells). that leverages as much of the existing infrastructure as is probably possible. and all at a reasonable cost. if this tech (or others) can work the only real challenge left is on vehicle hydrogen storage. high pressure tanks are ok, but something better will eventually be discovered.

all sounds reasonable to me.

Neil

Forget the filling station ... put one in your garage. (if you have one)

wintermane

The reason to not do that is of course a silling dstation gets its power alot cheaper then you.

solarnano

The infrastructure for hydrogen is already in place. It is called the electric company. If you have your own hyrdogen plant in your home, it will run your home, your car, your gas stove and allow you to sell excess power back to the electric company. You need to make a long cross country in your car, fill-er up at an electric station. There are millions of them already. A 5 minute battery charge is reality today. No need to store hydrogen, just manufacture to meet demand. Keep it simple.

Rafael Seidl

Gents -

the electrode above produces 7 times as much hydrogen per unit of macroscopic surface area. That means the hydrolysis units are smaller. The extra manufacturing effort involved suggests they may not be cheaper.

The energy required to produce a kg of hydrogen depends on the efficiency of the process and the cost of electricity. High temperature electrolysis with efficiencies of 90%+ has been around for quite a while.

In other words, in terms of the stated objective of a hydrogen economy, this is a rather small step on a journey that is still very long indeed. More to the point, with batteries improving at a rapid clip, it is perfectly legitimate to ask if it is a journey worth continuing.

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