• 2 minutes Rational analysis of CV19 from Harvard Medical School
  • 4 minutes While U.S. Pipelines Are Under Siege, China Streamlines Its Oil and Gas Network
  • 7 minutes Renewables Overtake Coal, But Lag Far Behind Oil And Natural Gas
  • 49 mins Joe Biden the "Archie Bunker" of the left selects Kamala Harris for VP . . . . . . Does she help the campaign ?
  • 23 hours China wields coronavirus to nationalize American-owned carmaker
  • 47 mins Trump Hands Putin Major Geopolitical Victory
  • 1 day Open letter from Politico about US-russian relations
  • 16 hours COVID&life and Vicious Circle: "Working From Home Is Not Panacea For Virus"
  • 32 mins Those Nasty White People and Camping Racism
  • 5 hours Brent above $45. Holding breath for $50??
  • 2 days US will pay for companies to bring supply chains home from China: Kudlow - COVID-19 has highlighted the problem of relying too heavily on one country for production
  • 15 hours Oil Tanker Runs Aground in Mauritius - Oil Spill
  • 2 hours The Truth about Chinese and Indian Engineering
  • 4 days Trumpist lies about coronavirus too bad for Facebook - BANNED!
  • 2 days Trump is turning USA into a 3rd world dictatorship
  • 3 days Liquid Air Battery
  • 3 days What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power (BBC)
Energy Giants Race For 'Green Hydrogen' Market Share

Energy Giants Race For 'Green Hydrogen' Market Share

Renewables-minded utilities and big oil…

Green Futures

Green Futures

This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine. Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for…

More Info

Premium Content

Biogas Fuel Cell Could Offer an Affordable Alternative to Short-Lived Batteries

Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are pioneering a methane fuel cell which could provide portable storage for small-scale power generation, and an affordable alternative to conventional short-lived batteries for laptops and other portable devices.

Expense has held back the development of hydrogen fuel cells, which have an optimum operating temperature in excess of 800°C. Noble metal catalysts – such as platinum,  currently selling at £1,780 per troy ounce – are needed to reach these temperatures, but exposure to them accelerates the breakdown of other components.

The new micro-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is designed to run on a variety of hydrocarbon fuels, including methane, which can be generated cheaply from organic waste through anaerobic digestion. The research team, led by Shriram Ramanathan, believes the optimum operating temperature of the cell could be lowered by up to 500°C, saving energy and making it more practical, too. Cheaper catalysts, such as nickel and nickel oxide, can also be used, lowering costs.

“This technology is very promising for clean and portable energy”, claims Ramanathan. Applications include a power source for small vehicles, such as forklifts, scooters, and recreational vehicles, and portable, efficient power for remote and rural areas. On a smaller scale and at lower temperatures, Ramanathan believes SOFCs will eventually be able to power portable electronics.

So how long do we have to wait? The research has attracted $500,000 of capital investment from Allied Minds, a corporation specializing in early stage university business ventures, and the Harvard Office of Technology Development has established SiEnergy Systems, LLC to commercialize the technology. SiEnergy is seeking further investors and industrial collaborators to target high-end commercial and military mobile power applications.

By. Lucy Tooher

This article originally appeared in Green Futures magazine.  Green Futures is the leading international magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures, published by Forum for the Future.  Its aim is to demonstrate how a sustainable future is both practical and desirable – and can be profitable, too.


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News