Researchers come up with a promising new design for graphene-enhanced fuel cells

Researchers at University College London, Queen Mary University of London and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin have suggested a design for a hydrogen fuel cell, with graphene as a key component. The new research promises to address some of the roadblocks that have thus far hindered the development of this clean, non-toxic, renewable technology, thus opening up hydrogen fuel cells as a potential clean-energy breakthrough.

At the moment the US Department of Energy estimates that the cost of energy generated by hydrogen fuel cells is around $61 per kilowatt. The ultimate aim is to get this down to $30 per kilowatt. The scaling up in the production of graphene-coated nanoparticles suggested in the paper could help significantly in this quest. The team’s findings could also extend beyond the field of fuel cells, lending itself to some exciting technological applications.

A new graphene-carbon nanotubes hybrid catalyst could help clean energy revolution

Researchers at Aalto University, collaborating with researchers at CNRS France, have developed a graphene-carbon nanotube catalyst which gives better control over important chemical reactions for producing green technology and clean energy.

The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are the most important electrochemical reactions that limit the efficiencies of hydrogen fuel cells (for powering vehicles and power generation), water electrolyzers (for clean hydrogen production), and high-capacity metal-air batteries. The team has developed a new catalyst that reportedly drives these reactions more efficiently than other bifunctional catalysts currently available. The researchers also found that the electrocatalytic activity of their new catalyst can be significantly altered depending on choice of the material on which the catalyst was deposited.

The UK establishes a Graphene Innovation Group, explains how graphene assists business goals

Following a Global Business innovation Programme initiated in 2019, and a collaborative visit to the US, the UK established a new Graphene Innovation Group (UK-GIG) that puts together 15 specialists from UK companies that together share many years of experience in graphene and expertise across the entire value chain.

UK-GIG group photo, Boston

Scott Storey, a Business Innovation Advisor at Inventya and the lead coordinator at the UK-GIG, explains more about the group - "We can take an everyday industrial challenge, apply our combined graphene knowledge, engineer and manufacture an effective solution, and take that solution to national and international markets. UK-GIG is now an established cohort of 15 UK-based graphene companies, ranging from early stage through to established businesses. The UK-GIG companies are fully aware of the huge potential for graphene technology to improve materials or be used in novel ways across multiple sectors. They are seeking collaboration opportunities where they can combine their expertise to do what they do best - solve problems, design graphene applications, and help commercialize an increasingly exciting field. They aim to make the UK the best place on earth to be grafting in graphene!"

We have reached out to some of the GIG members, to find out how has graphene effected their business and products, and the effects of graphene on their materials or devices.

G6 Materials and Gilman Industries start work on graphene-based green energy project

G6 Materials Corp. (formerly known as "Graphene 3D Lab) has announced the start of a new green-energy focused collaboration with Gilman Industries, a company focused on commercializing its hydrogen-producing technology. The objective of the project is to develop a new generation of Evolve, a proprietary hydrogen generator that produces hydrogen by splitting water with an electric current.

During the course of this project, G6 will develop a robust graphene-based material for electrodes within the hydrogen generator. Introducing a resilient graphene-based material has the potential to deliver chemical stability that could allow the generator to operate with seawater, which if successful, would drastically expand the range of potential applications.

Graphene and bacteria combine to create a powerful electrocatalyst

Researchers from KAUST show that microbes and nanomaterials like graphene can be used together to form a biohybrid material that performs well as an electrocatalyst. The team says that such materials could be used in the solar-powered production of carbon-free fuels and several other green-energy applications.

Graphene and bacteria to produce clean energy

A process called the oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) is at the heart of many clean energy technologies. In the case of solar-fuel production, for example, the OER enables the use of solar electricity to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, producing clean hydrogen that can be used as a fuel. Currently, rare and expensive metals are used as OER electrocatalysts. However, graphene-based biohybrid materials could make an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative, as the team at KAUST has shown.