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'Fuel battery' could take cars beyond petrol
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 @ 21:35:12 GMT by vlad

Devices 13:11 25 July 2008/ NewScientist.com news service/ by Colin Barras

A new approach to storing electrical energy can store more energy than gasoline in the same volume, and could help extend the range of electric vehicles. But some experts say other approaches are more practical.

The biggest technological hurdle facing electric vehicles is their range. Even the best rechargeable batteries cannot match the density of energy stored in a fuel tank.



Combining electric power with a combustion engine to make a hybrid electric vehicle sidesteps that problem. But a new take on electrical power storage that is part battery, part chemical fuel cell could ditch gasoline for good.

The new design stores energy more densely than petrol, and was conceived by Stuart Licht of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and colleagues.

Gasoline beater

Batteries produce electricity from a closed chemical system that is eventually exhausted. Fuel cells use a constant supply of fuel, so they are continually topped up. Licht's cell has features of each.

Its negative electrode, or anode, is made from vanadium boride, which serves double-duty as a fuel too. But unlike the flowing fuel of a fuel cell, the material is held internally, like the anode material of a battery.

The vanadium boride reacts with a constant stream of oxygen, as in a fuel cell, provided by the positive electrode, or cathode. This brings in a supply of air from outside.

The cell has a theoretical energy capacity of 27 kilowatt hours per litre, compared to 9.7 kilowatt hours per litre for gasoline. But both approaches are limited by practical factors to smaller figures.

Licht says his new system would likely have a practical energy capacity of around 5 kilowatt hours per litre. "But that's two-fold higher than the practical storage capacity of gasoline," he says...

Full article: Fuel battery

 
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"'Fuel battery' could take cars beyond petrol" | Login/Create an Account | 3 comments | Search Discussion
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

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Lithium-Ion Batteries for Less (Score: 1)
by vlad on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 @ 22:33:13 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.zpenergy.com

Researchers show a low-cost route to making materials for advanced batteries in electric cars and hybrids.

By Kevin Bullis


A new way to make advanced lithium-ion battery materials addresses one of their chief remaining problems: cost. Arumugam Manthiram [www.me.utexas.edu], a professor of materials engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, has demonstrated that a microwave-based method for making lithium iron phosphate takes less time and uses lower temperatures than conventional methods, which could translate into lower costs.

Lithium iron phosphate is an alternative to the lithium cobalt oxide used in most lithium-ion batteries in laptop computers. It promises to be much cheaper because it uses iron rather than the much more expensive metal cobalt. Although it stores less energy than some other lithium-ion materials, lithium iron phosphate is safer [www.technologyreview.com] and can be made in ways that allow the material to deliver large bursts of power, properties that make it particularly useful in hybrid vehicles...

Full article: http://www.technologyreview.com/Nanotech/21141/?a=f [www.technologyreview.com]






Re: 'Fuel battery' could take cars beyond petrol (Score: 1)
by malc on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 @ 00:48:42 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://web.ukonline.co.uk/mripley
I have a sneaking suspicion that the compressed air car will be the technology of the future for personal travel.  India and China will drive the volume.  I would not be suprised either if that technology drives the development of a cheap high efficiency wind turbine that you mount on your garage to charge the compressor for the car.



 

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