June 30, 2008

Hydrogen peroxide powers

It's hard to beat liquid fuels for convenient energy storage. The trick is finding inexpensive, renewable and environmentally sound fuels.

A proposed liquid fuel system stores energy from renewably-generate electricity in hydrogen peroxide, and uses the hydrogen peroxide in fuel cells to convert the energy back to electricity. The hydrogen peroxide system should be able to store and regenerate electricity with 35% or higher efficiency. Hydrogen peroxide has a high energy density; it has a long history as rocket fuel.

Hydrogen peroxide is produced in the proposed system by powering an electrode in aerated water, converting the electrical energy to chemical energy. The hydrogen peroxide can fuel a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell, reversing the process and converting chemical energy to electrical energy.

The hydrogen peroxide fuel cells could deliver electricity to the grid, power vehicles, or do both in vehicle-to-grid systems.

Research paper:
Energy Storage using Aqueous Hydrogen Peroxide
Energy & Fuels, published online June 11, 2008

Researcher's homepage:
Robert S. Disselkamp (group page)

Related stories and briefs:
Catalyst boosts gasoline fuel cells
Solid fuel cell works in heat

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