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World's First hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Multi-rotor UAV

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Old June 7th 15, 01:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default World's First hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Multi-rotor UAV


Hycopter stores energy in form of hydrogen, not air

by Nancy Owano

Hycopter stores energy in form of hydrogen, not air

Singapore-based Horizon Unmanned Systems (HUS) this month introduced the
hycopter, which they said is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered
multi-rotor UAV. It uses refillable hydrogen tubes as part of its structure.

Endurance is the key word. Its ability to travel longer distances on a single
charge is highlighted. That means the 20 to 30-minute multi-rotor missions of
today, said the company, can shift to flights lasting several hours at a time.

Aerial survey jobs can be done faster and drone delivery over longer distances
can be considered as more feasible. Another advantage being promoted is low
operational costs: at just $5/kWh for industrial hydrogen, said the company,
one flight will only cost $7.50. As for the specs, the company lists endurance
as up to four hours with no payload but 150 minutes with 1kg payload.

The hycopter is being readied for a flight endurance of four hours. The company
said this is eight to 10 times the average flight duration of equivalent
systems today.

The hycopter can store energy in the form of hydrogen instead of air, which
eliminates energy storage weight. Less lift power is needed. The fuel cell
turns the hydrogen into electricity to power the rotors.

The fuel cell was designed by sister company, Horizon Energy Systems. HUS was
launched this year, to merge the energy systems coming from HES with UAV
platforms built from the ground up. "By removing the design silos that
typically separate the energy storage component from UAV frame development – we
opened up a whole new category in the drone market, in-between battery and
combustion engine systems," said CEO Taras Wankewycz. He said the hycopter was
the first result of their efforts.

Wankewycz told Gizmag that "the flying prototype is almost ready to go, and
should be making its first flight later this year."

Certainly this is not the last we will hear of hydrogen and fuel cell research.
The Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research at the University of Birmingham
focuses on applications and demonstrations of hydrogen and fuel cell systems.
Research areas include microtubular solid oxide fuel cell power system
development and integration into a mini-UAV.

Stephen Edelstein earlier this month in Green Car Reports, turning to battery
and energy research, said that "fuel cells were "dogged by cost issues, and
there are questions about how enough hydrogen to supply a large fleet of cars
can be produced sustainably. The need to address these issues has led to a boom
in research for both batteries and fuel cells."

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last year, Christopher Mims noted how
"Drones are a special case of the limitations of current energy storage
technology because, even more than in cars and other gadgets, there is a direct
penalty for adding more batteries—the drone becomes heavier." If drones are
going to prove viable for dropping off packages, their flight time will need to
improve substantially, he said. Horizon's work could be an indicator that
hydrogen fuel cell technology will draw attention in months to come.

More information:

Explore further: Video: Researcher teams up with industry to help bring
hydrogen-powered vehicles to market
================================================== ====================

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better fuel cell catalyst has a peak power (600 mW/cm2)

12 sq inches = 77.3 cm square = 46.44 watts


Scientists use shape-fixing nanoreactor to make a better fuel cell catalyst

May 11, 2015 by Lisa Zyga feature

shape fixing
The shape fixing via salt recrystallization method produces porous,
carbon-based fuel cell catalysts with a large number of active sites. Credit:
Ding, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society
(Phys.org)—Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are lightweight fuel
cells being developed for applications in vehicles and portable electronics.
One of the biggest challenges facing their development is the need for
expensive platinum-based catalysts. In an effort to lower the cost, scientists
are looking for ways to either reduce the amount of platinum required or
completely replace the platinum with a less expensive material. But so far,
alternative materials have not performed nearly as well as platinum, mainly
because they have fewer and less accessible "active sites"—locations where the
catalyzed reactions can occur.

To address this challenge, scientists in a new study have developed a way to
synthesize materials with a large number of active sites that also ensures that
the active sites are accessible to all of the species (electrons, protons,
oxygen, and water molecules, etc.) involved in the reactions. They've done this
by synthesizing highly porous carbon nanomaterials, in which the pores act as
open channels to transport various species to their particular active sites
within the carbon framework.

The resulting catalyst, when incorporated into a PEMFC, has a peak power (600
mW/cm2) that is among the best of the non-platinum, non-precious-metal
catalysts developed to date. In addition, the researchers explain that the
method stands out because it produces the catalysts at a higher yield than any
other previous method, in which most products are lost at high temperatures.

The researchers, led by Zidong Wei, Professor of Chemistry at Chongqing
University in China, have published their work on the new PEMFC catalyst in a
recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers describe the new high-yield method as "shape fixing" because it
allows for the construction of carbon nanomaterials with a similar structure
and morphology as their polymer precursors. The process of shape-fixing
involves pouring a supersaturated sodium chloride (NaCl) solution onto a 3D
polyaniline (PANI) carbon-based polymer in a beaker, which results in the water
evaporating and NaCl recrystallizing around the PANI until the PANI is fully
covered by crystals, almost appearing as if it is buried in a block of ice.

Because the NaCl fully seals the PANI, the researchers explain that the NaCl
can be thought of as a nanoreactor. Inside this nanoreactor, the PANI is heated
in the processes of pyrolysis and gasification, while various raw materials are
added. In the end, the gasification of the various materials in the enclosed
space causes the formation of many pores, and the carbonized PANI retains its
original 3D shape due to previously being shape-fixed by the NaCl crystal.
Further, as the researchers explain, the active sites created in this method
are especially highly active.

"The most important results of this work are that the morphology of the polymer
is well transferred to the final carbonized materials, more active sites are
generated, and it achieves a high production yield," Wei told Phys.org.

The end result is a material with a high density of active sites in easily
accessible locations (pores), making it very well-suited as a carbon-based
catalyst for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. The researchers hope to
further improve upon the new method in the future, such as by finding new
polymer precursors that may perform better than polyaniline.

Explore further: Aerogel catalyst shows promise for fuel cells

More information: Wei Ding, et al. "Shape Fixing via Salt Recrystallization: A
Morphology-Controlled Approach To Convert Nanostructured Polymer to Carbon
Nanomaterial as a Highly Active Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction."
Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b00292

Journal reference: Journal of the American Chemical Society search and more
info website
================================================== ===========================


Fastest hydrogen battery ever stepping stone to hydrogen car?

May 01, 2015

Fastest hydrogen battery ever stepping stone to hydrogen car?
Credit: Arne Olivier
Can cars run on formic acid? They just might one day, after what physical
chemist Georgy Filonenko discovered in his dissertation. He developed a
catalyst in which hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) can form formic acid in no
time, faster than had ever been measured before. And the reverse reaction is
just as quick. It seems to be the start of a hydrogen battery for use in
hydrogen cars of the future, for example. He received his PhD degree yesterday,
cum laude.

Hydrogen is one of the foremost candidates in the running towards becoming the
energy carrier of the future. It's the world's most common element, and no
harmful substances are released upon combustion. Unfortunately, storing pure
hydrogen is an issue: getting enough hydrogen in a fuel tank requires several
hundred bars of pressure. These practical concerns impede the use of hydrogen
as a fuel for cars or buses.

It's been known for several years that hydrogen and CO2 can be combined to form
liquid formic acid, which enables us to store much more hydrogen in the same
volume. Up until recently, the bottleneck was the time it took for hydrogen to
be absorbed and released again by the CO2, and how to control the process.
During experiments, two bachelor students of Chemical Engineering who worked
under the supervision of Georgy Filonenko accidentally stumbled upon a catalyst
that speeded up the reaction immensely: a complex of an organic molecule and
the noble metal ruthenium.

Ten times faster than ever before

Filonenko then managed to optimize the reaction, and so found a way to realize
a reaction speed that was ten times higher than the fastest known system in the
world, which also happens to require a much more expensive catalyst. "What's
extraordinary, is that the reaction can be reversed easily as well", says
Filonenko. "At 65 degrees, the formic acid is stable, but heating it to 90
degrees releases the hydrogen fast."

Storage density

The reaction speed and its stability make formic acid a potential candidate for
hydrogen batteries in cars, for example. "But we must increase storage density
first", says Evgeny Pidko. He is Filonenko's supervisor and the one who was
awarded the Veni grant to finance this research project. "So we're studying
other molecules that can store hydrogen, like methanol. The initial goal of our
research was to gather fundamental information, but then suddenly we found
these unexpected results."

Explore further: Inexpensive, efficient bi-metallic electrocatalysts may open
floodgates for hydrogen fuel

More information: "On the catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 and carboxylic acid
esters." http://www.kncv.nl/on-the-catalytic-...d.178512.lynkx

Provided by Eindhoven University of Technology search and more info website
================================================== ==========================


Micromotors for energy generation

Apr 28, 2015

Micromotors for energy generation

Hydrogen is considered to be the energy source of the futu the first
vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells are already on the market. However, the
problem of hydrogen storage has not been solved in a satisfactory way. American
scientists have now developed catalytically active micromotors that
significantly increase the release of hydrogen from liquid storage media. In
the journal Angewandte Chemie, they introduce their new concept with a model
vehicle powered by a hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell.

Solutions of hydrogen-containing salts like sodium borohydride (NaBH4) offer
many advantages as hydrogen storage media. Most importantly, the hydrogen they
release is very pure, which is an important requirement for the smooth
operation of fuel cells. To date, most catalysts used for releasing hydrogen
from NaBH4 have been either thin films embedded in support materials or
nanoparticles. The speed and efficiency of hydrogen release in these systems is
limited by deactivation of the surfaces through deposition of the reaction
byproduct (NaBO2), blockage by hydrogen bubbles, and concentration gradients of
the NaBH4 in solution.

A team headed by Joseph Wang at the University of California, San Diego has now
solved these major problems. The key to their success is a catalyst in the form
of self-propelled "micromotors". These consist of particles known as Janus
microparticles, named after the Roman god Janus. Like the god, these tiny
particles have two different "faces": one side is made of platinum black, a
very fine, catalytically active platinum powder and the other half is coated
with titanium, which makes it inactive and allows for directional motion. When
these micromotors are placed in a solution of NaBH4, hydrogen is only released
on the platinum side. The storage medium thus also acts as the "fuel" for the
micromotors, which are propelled by the resulting gas bubbles. This causes the
liquid to be mixed very thoroughly, avoiding local drops in concentration. In
addition, neither the gas bubbles nor the solid byproduct can stick to the
catalytic surface. This results in significantly faster release of hydrogen
than with conventional static catalysts.

To demonstrate their concept, the scientists equipped a small model car with a
hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell. The hydrogen was released on board from a NaBH4
solution, as described above. The necessary oxygen was also produced on board
by an analogous system: catalytic splitting of dissolved hydrogen peroxide
(H2O2) with the same type of platinum/titanium micromotors.

The advantage of this type of system is that liquid fuels are used, so no
storage of gases is required. The required gases are very rapidly released on
demand and brought directly to the fuel cell electrodes.

Explore further: Inexpensive, efficient bi-metallic electrocatalysts may open
floodgates for hydrogen fuel

More information: "Micromotor-Based Energy Generation." Angew. Chem. Int. Ed..
doi: 10.1002/anie.201501971

Journal reference: Angewandte Chemie search and more info website Angewandte
Chemie International Edition search and more info website

Provided by Angewandte Chemie search and more info website


Micromotor-Based Energy Generation†

Dr. Virendra V. Singh‡,
Fernando Soto‡,
Kevin Kaufmann and
Prof. Joseph Wang*

Article first published online: 23 APR 2015

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201501971

© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Volume 54, Issue 23, pages 6896–6899, June 1, 2015

This project received support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency-Joint
Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (Grant no.
HDTRA1-13-1-0002). F.S. is a UC MEXUS-CONACYT Doctoral Fellow.

Get PDF (935K)


A micromotor-based strategy for energy generation, utilizing the conversion of
liquid-phase hydrogen to usable hydrogen gas (H2), is described. The new
motion-based H2-generation concept relies on the movement of Pt-black/Ti Janus
microparticle motors in a solution of sodium borohydride (NaBH4) fuel. This is
the first report of using NaBH4 for powering micromotors. The autonomous motion
of these catalytic micromotors, as well as their bubble generation, leads to
enhanced mixing and transport of NaBH4 towards the Pt-black catalytic surface
(compared to static microparticles or films), and hence to a substantially
faster rate of H2 production. The practical utility of these micromotors is
illustrated by powering a hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell car by an on-board
motion-based hydrogen and oxygen generation. The new micromotor approach paves
the way for the development of efficient on-site energy generation for powering
external devices or meeting growing demands on the energy grid.

View Full Article with Supporting Information (HTML) Enhanced Article (HTML)
Get PDF (935K)
================================================== ==================


New aluminum alloy stores hydrogen

Nov 05, 2013

[image] This is a schematic of the hydrogenation reaction process of the newly
developed hydride Al2CuHx. Credit: H. Saitoh /JAEA

We use aluminum to make planes lightweight, store sodas in recyclable
containers, keep the walls of our homes energy efficient and ensure that the
Thanksgiving turkey is cooked to perfection. Now, thanks to a group of Japanese
researchers, there may soon be a new application for the versatile metal:
hydrogen storage for fuel cells.

Lightweight interstitial hydrides—compounds in which hydrogen atoms occupy the
interstices (spaces) between metal atoms—have been proposed as a safe and
efficient means for storing hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles. Hydrides using
magnesium, sodium and boron have been manufactured, but so far, none have
proven practical as a hydrogen repository. An aluminum-based alloy hydride
offers a more viable candidate because it has the desired traits of light
weight, no toxicity to plants and animals, and absence of volatile gas products
except for hydrogen. Until now, however, only complex aluminum
hydrides—unsuitable for use as a hydrogen storage system—have been created.

In a recent paper in the AIP Publishing journal APL Materials, a joint research
group with members from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (Hyogo, Japan) and
Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan) announced that it had achieved the
long-sought goal of a simple-structured, aluminum-based interstitial alloy.
Their compound, Al2CuHx, was synthesized by hydrogenating Al2Cu at an extreme
pressure of 10 gigapascals (1.5 million pounds per square inch) and a high
temperature of 800 degrees Celsius (1,500 degrees Fahrenheit).

The researchers characterized the conditions of the hydrogenation reaction
using in-situ synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction measurement, while the
crystal and electron structures of the compound formed were studied with powder
X-ray diffraction measurement and first-principle calculations, respectively.
Together, these examinations confirmed the first-ever formation of an
interstitial hydride of an aluminum-based alloy.

New aluminum alloy stores hydrogen
The high pressure apparatus installed on the beamline BL14B1 at SPring-8, a
third generation synchrotron radiation facility in Japan. Credit: H.
"Although its synthesis requires very extreme conditions and its hydrogen
content is low, our new compound showed that an aluminum-based alloy hydride is
achievable," said Hiroyuki Saitoh, lead author of the APL Materials paper.

"Based on what we've learned from this first step, we plan to synthesize
similar materials at more moderate conditions—products that hopefully will
prove to be very effective at storing hydrogen."

Explore further: New inorganic aromatic ion

More information: The article, "Synthesis and formation process of Al2CuHx: A
new class of interstitial aluminum-based alloy hydride" is authored by Hiroyuki
Saitoh, Shigeyuki Takagi, Naruki Endo, Akihiko Machida, Katsutoshi Aoki,
Shin-ichi Orimo and Yoshinori Katayama. It appears in the journal APL
Materials: dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4821632

Provided by American Institute of Physics search and more info website

Old June 8th 15, 04:13 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
external usenet poster
Posts: 140
Default World's First hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Multi-rotor UAV

Thanks for those stories.

I would like to note, unless I skimmed too quickly, none of
these developments involve liquid hydrogen.

It seems counterintuitive at first, but liquid hydrogen does
not containt as many hydrogen atoms per unit volume as many
hydrogen containing compounds. Gasoline being one of them,
and why it's hard to beat.

I was unaware of some of these compounds being worked with.
Very interesting and ingenious ideas.

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