Scientists at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters have designed a new fuel cell inspired by the bronchial structure of the lungs. The new design requires less of the expensive platinum catalyst while also boosting efficiency.
The fuel cell features channels modeled after bronchial tubes that supply hydrogen and oxygen to their respective electrodes. This system spreads the gases more uniformly across the electrodes, which boosts the cell's efficiency and creates greater surface area so that less platinum is required.
Hydrogen fuel cells are still too cost prohibitive (among other things) for mass production and a lot of that has to do with the platinum catalyst. This design is pretty exciting because it would lower the cost of the fuel cell while also boosting output. That's a win-win.
written by Yael, October 02, 2010
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