Revolutionary New Fuel Cell

Scientists have developed a new technique to examine the inner membrane of a fuel cell, in a breakthrough that could be a ‘game changer’ for cleaner energy.

The lifetime of a fuel cell relies on a process called oxidation, or the breakdown of its central electrolyte membrane – and, researchers have now found a way to observe the formation of the chemicals that give rise to this process.

As oxidation can cause holes to form in the membrane and eventually cause the cell to short circuit, the new work could now help to develop ways to prevent this damage, and extend the life of the fuel cell.

The researchers at Washington University in St Louis used an approach known as fluorescence spectroscopy to view the process as it occurs inside the fuel cell. The method uses fluorescent dye as a marker to reveal the rate at which the damaging chemicals are generated

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