The global auto giant finally admitted that the cars with hydrogen fuel cells are the most environmentally friendly. For this indicator, they surpass even electric cars.
In particular, as the material of the publication by The Independent, the power plant with a hydrogen fuel cell is truly carbon-free technology. After all, when the work stands out only water and any reaction byproducts are completely absent.
But the charging of electric vehicles is produced from the electric grid, half of the energy which supply thermal power plants. And many of these plants run on coal or fuel oil, and natural gas combustion also leads to the release of some CO2. In addition, the production of electric cars is associated with emissions of harmful substances.
Paradoxically, however, cars with a hydrogen engine not popular, although they are cheaper than electric cars. So, for the first half of the world was purchased or leased only 1.6 thousand of these machines. Apparently motorists don’t trust hydrogen fuel, knowing his explosiveness.
Meanwhile, fuel cell technology is constantly improving. So, Novosibirsk chemists from the local state University and the Institute of inorganic chemistry SB RAS has developed a solid solution of cobalt and iridium. This new connection can serve as a catalyst in various fuel cells coming to replace the expensive platinum.
In particular, as notes the press service of the Novosibirsk state University (NSU), fuel cells are characterized by a high coefficient of performance (COP), which is more than 50%. There is also the unlimited use at the time of these fuel cells with a continuous supply of fuel and oxidizer, but for the occurrence of reactions on the electrodes the desired catalyst.
Currently, the catalysts are usually made of platinum, which has a number of disadvantages — and the price of platinum electrodes is nearly two-thirds of the cost of a fuel cell.
“Iridium is in average two times cheaper than platinum. By adding into solution of base metal of cobalt, the cost of the catalyst is further reduced. In addition, manifests a synergistic effect — the efficiency of the catalyst increases due to merging of separate parts into a single system,” – said the employee of laboratory of synthesis and physico-chemical studies of new composite catalysts NSU Eugene Filatov.
As noted by the researcher, cobalt-iridium alloy works the same as platinum. As a result, the efficiency is the same, but the cost turns out significantly lower, and the lifetime of such fuel elements are much higher.
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