US researchers highlight hydrogen fuel cells key pharmaceutical role

Hydrogen fuel cells could hold the key to future efficient and sustainable production of pharmaceutical drugs, according to research from University of Wisconsin-Madison chemists and engineers.

An important process for making drugs requires large quantities of zinc metal as a source of electrons but handling zinc is complicated and generates large amounts of environmentally unfriendly waste.

In their search for an alternative process, the researchers, working with Merck & Co, took inspiration from hydrogen fuel cells, which use hydrogen gas as the source of electrons to generate electricity.

Shannon Stahl, a professor in the university’s Department of Chemistry, said, “The chemical industry is a massive energy consumer, and there is a big push to decarbonise the industry. Renewable electricity can provide energy to produce chemicals with a much lower carbon footprint than burning fossil fuels.

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To gain access to this article and all our other content, you will need to subscribe to H2 View.

From the latest print editions, to 24/7 online access to exclusive interviews, authoritative columnists and the H2 View news archive, a subscription is the best way for you to stay up to date with developments in the hydrogen community.

Please wait...