Stanford Works on ‘Reversible’ Fuel Cells

July 14, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

Stanford University scientists are working on “reversible” fuel cells as an energy storage possibility.

Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen as fuel to create electricity; but the scientists are using electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen.

“The hydrogen can be stored and used later in the fuel cell to generate electricity at night or when the wind isn’t blowing,” said William Chueh, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford, reports Stanford News.

Chueh, along with researchers at SLAC, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, is using a particle accelerator to analyze the chemical reaction of separating hydrogen and oxygen within a fuel cell.

The knowledge gained from this first-of-its-kind analysis may lead to even more efficient fuel cells that could, in turn, make utility-scale alternative energy systems more practical.

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