Cobalt And EVs: What You Need To Know
Scientists have developed a method for producing hydrogen at a relatively low temperature and pressure, which uses only water enriched with carbon dioxide and nanoparticles of metallic cobalt.
At the moment, various methods have been invented for producing H2, such as electrolysis, catalytic reforming of natural gas and even metals. However, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Lowell have unveiled a new, safe way to generate hydrogen that could potentially be used to power electric vehicles..
The team created an experimental setup consisting of a stainless canister filled with cobalt through which carbon dioxide-rich water is pumped and then heated to 66 °C and is compressed to three atmospheres. Under such conditions, the efficiency of hydrogen production is 70%, but after the system was finalized, scientists increased this figure to 95%. In this case, carbon dioxide does not change and is not consumed, but only contributes to the decomposition of H2O and the oxidation of cobalt.
In an electric car, the canister can feed hydrogen directly into a fuel cell, where it mixes with atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water, according to chemists. The resulting water can then be recycled back to the canister where it mixes with carbon dioxide to form a catalytic solution. Spent cobalt can be recovered using renewable energy sources such as wind turbines or solar panels.
The advantage of this power system is that it does not require the storage of pure hydrogen, therefore it is safe and does not need special conditions. during transportation. One canister is enough for a car to travel up to 640 km, and then it can be replaced.
We also previously reported that Belgian scientists have developed a solar panel that not only generates electricity, but also extracts hydrogen from atmospheric moisture. On average, the device produces about 250 liters of H2 per day..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: University of Massachusetts Lowell