UCLA, Caltech and Ford improve fuel cell technology

A team of UCLA, Caltech and Ford Motor Company researchers have improved fuel cell technology to exceed the US Department of Energy’s targets in efficiency, stability and power.

Described as a “breakthrough”, the development may enable a new approach to renewable energy, using solar energy to convert water to hydrogen during the day and hydrogen back to water at night while providing electrical power.

Project researchers have said the advance in performance could help the inexpensive and practical generation of zero emissions energy technology to power vehicles, emitting only water.

To enhance the performance of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology, the group, led by Yu Huang, a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, accelerated the chemical reaction of the fuel cell.

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