Perspective on Fuel Cells

Fuel Cell CarFuel cells play a major role in creating a clean energy future, with a broad set of applications ranging from powering buildings to electrifying transportation. But, as with all emerging technologies, researchers have faced many barriers in developing affordable, efficient fuel cells and creating a way to cleanly produce the hydrogen that powers them.

In a new Perspective article, published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society, researchers are aiming to tackle a fundamental debate in key reactions behind fuel cells and hydrogen production, which, if solved, could significantly bolster clean energy technologies.

In the open access article, “Perspective—Towards Establishing Apparent Hydrogen Binding Energy as the Descriptor for Hydrogen Oxidation/Evolution Reactions,” Yushan Yan and his coauthors from the University of Delaware provide an authoritative overview of work done in the areas of hydrogen oxidation and evolution, present key questions for debate, and provide paths for future innovation in the field.

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Finger pulse monitorEngineers used tissue paper—similar to toilet tissue—to make a new kind of wearable sensor that can detect a pulse or a blink of an eye.

The sensor, which is light, flexible, and inexpensive, could be used for health care, entertainment, and robotics, researchers say.

Tearing tissue paper that’s loaded with nanocomposites and breaking the paper’s fibers makes the paper acts like a sensor. It can detect a heartbeat, finger force, finger movement, eyeball movement, and more, says Jae-Hyun Chung, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Washington and senior author of the paper in Advanced Materials Technologies.

“The major innovation is a disposable wearable sensor made with cheap tissue paper. When we break the specimen, it will work as a sensor.”

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SemiconductorA small metallic tab that, when attached to the body, is capable of generating electricity from bending a finger and other simple movements could one day power our electronic devices.

“No one likes being tethered to a power outlet or lugging around a portable charger. The human body is an abundant source of energy. We thought: ‘Why not harness it to produce our own power?’” says Qiaoqiang Gan, associate professor of electrical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo and lead author of a paper describing the tab in the journal Nano Energy.

The tab is a triboelectric nanogenerator. Triboelectric charging occurs when certain materials become electrically charged after coming into contact with a different material. Most everyday static electricity is triboelectric.

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SolarResearchers have proposed three different methods for providing consistent power in 139 countries using 100 percent renewable energy.

The inconsistencies of power produced by wind, water, and sunlight and the continuously fluctuating demand for energy often hinder renewable energy solutions. In a new paper, which appears in Renewable Energy, the researchers outline several solutions to making clean power reliable enough for all energy sectors—transportation; heating and cooling; industry; and agriculture, forestry, and fishing—in 20 world regions after all sectors have converted to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

The researchers previously developed roadmaps for transitioning 139 countries to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050 with 80 percent of that transition completed by 2030. The present study examines ways to keep the grid stable with these roadmaps.

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National Academy of EngineeringRaymond J. Gorte, Yang Shao-Horn, and M. Stanley Whittingham, all of whom are ECS fellows, were recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Election to the NAE is one of the most prestigious professional distinctions bestowed upon engineers.

According to the NAE, academy membership honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

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ECSTA new issue of ECS Transactions has just been published.

This issue contains 40 papers originally presented at the XXXII National Congress of the Mexican Society of Electrochemistry/ 10th Meeting of the ECS Mexican Section, which was held June 5-8, 2017, in Guanajuato, Mexico.

ECST volume 84, issue 1, is now available for purchase as an instant PDF download through the ECS Online Store.

To browse the full table of contents, or purchase individual articles, please visit the ECS Digital Library.

 

Yamagata University

Yamagata University

The First International Conference on 4D Materials and Systems (4DMS), sponsored by ECS, will be held in Yonezawa, Yamagata, Japan from August 26-30, 2018 at the Faculty of Engineering, Yamagata University, Yonezawa, Japan.

This international conference will bring together engineers, medical professionals, clinicians, chemists, biologists, and physicists under the same roof to initiate roadmap, share results, and discuss issues related to the latest advancements in the fundamental science and technological developments in challenges and innovations in polymer gels and network materials, including; electrochemical materials and devices for energy conversion and storage; smart engineering materials, robotics, soft-smart robotics; material processing – theoretical and experimental approach; and printed and flexible electronics.

This conference will have five parallel tracks:

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LaserResearchers may have found a way to solve the weakness of a type of light source similar to lasers. The alternative light source could lead to smaller, lower-cost, and more efficient sources of light pulses.

Although critical for varied applications, such as cutting and welding, surgery and transmitting bits through optical fiber, lasers have some limitations—namely, they only produce light in limited wavelength ranges.

Now, researchers have modified similar light sources, called optical parametric oscillators, to overcome this obstacle.

Until now, these lesser-known light sources have been mostly confined to the lab because their setup leaves little room for error—even a minor jostle could knock one out of alignment.

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Battery Division Awards

Battery DivisionNominations Deadline: March 15, 2018

The ECS honors and awards program promotes technical achievements in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology. The program also recognizes exceptional service to the Society. Recognition opportunities exist in the following categories: Society awards, division awards and section awards.

The ECS Battery Division is currently accepting nominations for four awards that will be recognized at AiMES 2018, a joint meeting between ECS and SMEQ in Cancun, Mexico from September 30 through October 4.

Battery Division Research Award: established in 1958 to encourage excellence in battery and fuel cell research, and to encourage publication in ECS journals. The winner receives a framed certificate, a $2,000 prize and lifetime division membership.

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Deadline for Submitting Abstracts
March 16, 2018
Submit today!

Meeting speakerTopic Close-up #2

Symposium C02: Pits & Pores 8: Nanomaterials – Fabrication, Properties, and Applications

Symposium Focus: This symposium is aimed at the fabrication of all kinds of porous structures, their physical and chemical properties as well as their applications. It is a continuous attempt to integrate the diverse research in different fields such as localized metal corrosion, semiconductor electrochemistry, pore-filling, matrix materials, optical spectroscopy and characterization of magnetic properties in order to develop a highly transdisciplinary approach to the topic. Emphasis will be on pit and pore formation, porous-structure/surface-property relations, work relevant to the formation of advanced materials and their characterization, and applications of these materials in different areas of science such as biomedicine, energy storage and conversion, optics and magnetism.

The symposium brings together scientists from various research fields such as material science, electrochemistry, physics, chemistry, engineering and biology.

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