Chemists at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used machine learning to design a record-breaking carbonaceous supercapacitor material that stores four times as much energy as the best available commercial material. A supercapacitor made with the new material could store more energy—improving regenerative brakes, power electronics and auxiliary power supplies. Calling this design a real milestone, the researchers said this is the highest recorded storage capacitance for porous carbon. By developing a carbon material with improved physicochemical and electrochemical qualities, the researchers advanced the potential of carbon supercapacitors for energy storage. They claim that their research could accelerate the development and improvement of carbon materials for use in supercapacitors.
New “super steel” to enhance green hydrogen production from seawater
Researchers at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) have now created a “super steel” with strong resistance to corrosion that may be used in the manufacture of green hydrogen from saltwater easily acquired from the oceans. Despite being significantly less expensive than its corresponding contemporary counterparts, its performance in a saltwater electrolyser is equivalent to the present industrial practice of using titanium as a crucial structural component to produce hydrogen from desalted seawater or acid. The invention consists of adding a secondary manganese (Mn)-based layer engineered on the preceding chromium (Cr)-based layer at ~720 mV onto the single Cr2O3-based passive layer. Since it is generally understood that Mn reduces stainless steel’s ability to withstand corrosion, the scientists did not first accept the material’s new role. However, the discovery of Mn-based passivation is counterintuitive and defies conventional corrosion science understanding. Researchers said that replacing gold (Au) and platinum (Pt) with this steel could reduce the structural material costs of a 10-megawatt PEM electrolysis tank system, currently at USD $ 2.8 million, by about 40 times.
IITM professor wins prestigious national award for research on CO2 sequestration
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) faculty member, Rajnish Kumar, won the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar award in the engineering category for 2022. Kumar works in the chemical engineering department. His study focused on the process of sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2). The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in India bestows this award yearly to recognise exceptional achievements in fundamental and applied research in a range of fields, including biology, chemistry, environmental science, engineering, mathematics, medicine, and physics. The honour is given in recognition of his contributions to our knowledge of methane recovery from marine gas hydrates, CO2 sequestration in solid hydrates, and the nucleation and growth of clathrate hydrates.
Electrofuel developed from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide put to test in Finland
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and its partners have developed a concept for producing electrofuel from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The team has combined high-temperature electrolysis, carbon capture and Fischer-Tropsch hydrocarbon synthesis to develop electrofuel production for commercial and industrial scale. The paraffinic E-fuel was tested for the first time in Finland on a diesel-powered tractor at AGCO Power’s Linnavuori factory in Nokia town. Paraffinic fuels are “clean diesel” fuels, with near zero sulphur and aromatics, and their use in diesel vehicles could lower emissions. A researcher involved said that the fuel can be used to replace fossil diesel in sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy road transport and shipping. It can also be used in machinery. During the test, fuel consumption and the carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particles and other substances in the exhaust emissions were measured. Now, the results of the test run will be analysed to see whether E-diesel is also an environmentally friendly alternative with regard to harmful exhaust emissions.
World’s first offshore hydrogen pilot passes sea trials
Sealhyfe, Lhyfe’s offshore hydrogen pilot, achieved all test run objectives, the company said. This could be a critical step towards offshore green hydrogen production scaling up. Lhyfe, a global firm in the field of green and renewable hydrogen production, launched Sealhyfe in September 2022 as the world’s first offshore hydrogen production pilot platform. During the pilot run, the platform showed that it could produce up to 880 pounds (400 kilograms) of hydrogen per day with its 1 MW (megawatt) electrolyser. The company will now delve into the data collected during the pilot, with major findings expected to be shared by January 2024.