“Kolkata, India – Indians scientists have shown a new route to make fuel cells more efficient, thus pushing further the possibility that cars could one day run on air. In a study, researchers said they had used an iron-based substance to act as a catalyst, instead of platinum, to speed up energy generation in a hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cell.
“According to the study co-investigator Sreekumar Kurungot from CSIR-NCL Pune, this makes the hydrogen peroxide cell 140 times more active. “It makes the procedure not only energy efficient, but also cost-effective since we did not use conventionally used platinum catalyst, which is very expensive. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide storage and transportation is very easy compared to hydrogen,” said Kurungot.
“A fuel cell combines hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water – which makes it eco-friendly. But due to the storage and safety concerns of hydrogen, the focus now is on hydrogen peroxide as the source in fuel cells. “In principle, you can capture oxygen from air and use a photovoltaic cell to convert oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. So on a sunny day, you could use that to produce electricity and water,” said Swadhin Mandal, a scientist at Kolkata’s Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.
“The electricity could power the car and water would be an eco-friendly byproduct. “Eventually, with more technological breakthroughs, hydrogen peroxide fuel cell should be able to power automobiles using oxygen from the air,” Mandal added.
However, as it is with any commodity, it would seem that the information, although good news to many, also represents bad news for others. According to several reports from NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange), the price of clean air has sky rocketed because of the rumors, and a fierce battle is under way to acquire as many clean air shares as possible.
A NYMEX spokesperson told Newslo: “There is nothing strange about this, it’s just a normal day at NYMEX. What you are witnessing now are the simple effects of demand and supply.”