Wednesday, August 6, 2008
A new material characterized at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could open a pathway toward more efficient fuel cells. The material, a super-lattice developed by researchers in Spain, improves ionic conductivity near room temperature by a factor of almost 100 million, representing "a colossal increase in ionic conduction properties". Other fuel cell materials force ions to travel through tight pathways with few spaces for the ions to occupy, slowing their progress. Rather than forcing the ions to jump from hole to hole, the new material has "lots of vacant spaces to be occupied, so the ions can travel much more quickly” and does so at room temperatures.
High temperatures have been a major roadblock for developers of fuel cell technology.
Posted by glowplug at 3:27 PM