North-western University – It was sheer accident that researchers came across a defective form of graphene that can be used as an effective ingredient in fuel cell efficiency. This can lead to developing better electric vehicles by increasing their performance. After extensive research by scientists of North-western University and five other institutes, they came to the conclusion that adulterated or diluted graphene actually served the purpose they were in search of.
Graphene is one of the wonder materials of this era. Its proton is extremely thin and almost one atom in size. It has a unique ability of detecting light better than most of the sensors available. Importantly, irrespective of its tiny size molecule, it is very strong and flexible and has the amazing ability of conducting currents better than copper which was considered the leader in this respect.
On account of its perfect honeycomb like structure, it becomes an expensive proposition to produce it and to use on a regular basis. Researchers from North-western University and the other Institutes realized that it was practically impossible to separate protons from hydrogen, which is critical in the implementation of fuel cell technology from pure graphene. However, when a single layer of graphene was used along with some water, imperfections in its structure were created. This permitted the protons to move from side to side and could be separated more easily.
The adulterated graphene surprisingly offered perfect answer to all the difficulties that scientists faced, with regard to its effectiveness and in operating costs. Besides, it proved to be far more efficient to use in fuel cell technology. This was made possible by new membrane of the defective graphene that was created that allowed protons to pass through and be separated easily.
It is critical in fuel cell technology that the protons are separated from the basic graphene structure as quickly as possible. It must not take longer to charge a car than it takes to add regular fuel. Although some more research is needed in this area, but, this imperfect grahene has opened the door for future research.
The researchers from North-western University were extremely bullish on the future prospects of using fuel cell technology. This breakthrough will make it possible to use hydrogen as a fuel instead of the conventional methods used presently that include gasoline, fossil fuels and electric batteries.