Indian scientists show how eco-friendly cars can run on air

Indian scientists show how eco-friendly cars can run on air
Highlights

Indian scientists have shown a new route to make fuel cells more efficient, thus pushing further the possibility that cars could one day run on air. In a study, researchers said they had used an iron-based substance to act as a catalyst, instead of platinum, to speed up energy generation in a hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cell.

Kolkata: Indian scientists have shown a new route to make fuel cells more efficient, thus pushing further the possibility that cars could one day run on air. In a study, researchers said they had used an iron-based substance to act as a catalyst, instead of platinum, to speed up energy generation in a hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cell.


"It makes the procedure not only energy efficient but also cost-effective since we did not use conventionally used platinum catalyst, which is very expensive. Moreover, hydrogen peroxide storage and transportation is very easy compared to hydrogen," said study co-investigator Sreekumar Kurungot from CSIR-NCL, Pune.


A fuel cell combines hydrogen with oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water - which makes it eco-friendly. But due to the storage and safety concerns of hydrogen, the focus now is on hydrogen peroxide as the source in fuel cells. The hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cells are now considered the best option for use as a power source at space stations, remote military camps and for underwater power requirements.


At a time when carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles have come under the scanner for problems related to climate change, fuel cells are being seen as promising alternatives to fossil fuels. Fuel cell vehicles are already a reality. In November last year, Toyota unveiled the Mirai, one of the first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to be sold commercially. Honda also displayed its sleek, new environmental friendly car engineered on the same principle.

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