Scientists have built a new electrocatalyst for fuel-cell vehicles that uses palladium instead of carbon to protect the expensive layer of platinum needed to drive a cell’s reactions, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.
In current fuel-cell technology, normal stop-and-go driving wears down the platinum catalyst, causing its reactivity to plummet over time. Researchers see this as one of the major hurdles to large-scale production and use of fuel-cell technology.
But according to Brookhaven chemist Radosalve Adzic, a palladium or palladium-gold alloy nanoparticle core has proved to be a worthy protector of the precious metal in lab tests.
Hydrogen fuel is used to power vehicles by running compressed hydrogen that is stored onboard with oxygen from the air to create electricity to power an electric motor. Hydrogen produces nearly three times the energy per pound than gasoline; however, it has only about 1/10 the density in a liquid form. Therefore, a hydrogen fuel talk has to be much larger than a traditional gasoline tank.
In order to use hydrogen in a car, it has to be produced as it does not occur naturally in a quantity worth using. There are several methods for producing hydrogen including pulling the hydrogen out of water. Unfortunately, this process required a good deal of energy. A recent study completed at MIT found that "Even with aggressive research, the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will not be better than the diesel hybrid ( a vehicle powered by a conventional engine supplemented by an electric motor) in terms of total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020."
Hydrogen is the most perspective energy source to be used in future probably and thus economics of hydrogen fuel cells is quite an important issue today. This paper targets the above issue and considers the following aspects: opportunity cost factors, supply and demand, role of government and impact on USA taxes concerned with economics of hydrogen fuel cells.Read more: Economics of Hydrogen Fuel Cells