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Plasma to achieve materials for future batteries
Scientists at the University of Cordoba have described two routes, one of them unexpected, for hydrogen and graphene with the help of a cutting-edge technique: the plasma. The two compounds are used in new materials to make new generation batteries.
Graphene seen under a microscope. The purity of this material is measured by the number of superposed layers. Unless layers, purer. / Dolores Calzada
A research group at the University of Cordoba has studied the process of decomposition of ethanol to produce hydrogen using plasma technology, unique in Spain, through devices from the University of Montreal (Canada).Ethanol is an alcohol and, through this novel technique could be decomposed into useful substances for new batteries.
only one for hydrogen and one for simultaneously achieve the production of hydrogen and graphene: specifically, two routes were described. Both are compounds of high value-added employees and in innovations for next-generation batteries, so high expectations for this research are opened.
It was a discovery in duplicate. The team, consisting of physical and chemical belonging to the Laboratory of Innovation University and in which collaborated a professor in the Department of Organic Chemistry, depuraban a technique for producing hydrogen from ethanol, an agricultural residue, when they obtained the while a material of solid carbon in very estimable amounts.
Ethanol could be broken down into useful substances for new batteries with new technique
After analyzing this material it was found that it was very high quality graphene. The results, recently published in the Chemical Engineering Journal , now open two new routes for next – generation batteries: exclusively produce hydrogen or hydrogen and graphene. The group, with the collaboration of the Office of Transfer of Research Results of the UCO, has already patented the procedure.
“When science define a goal and try to reach it, there are times that collateral unexpected results are obtained with new lines of work that can then explore you or with other research groups from other disciplines open,” recalls lead researcher Dolores Calzada.
Regarding the plasma is present in our daily lives. For example, fluorescent tubes and low-energy lamps. In fluorescent lamps, the gas contained therein is applied electrical energy, ionizing the gas and generating partially particles originate by interacting light emission.
The novelty is in this case given to using these particles, in particular electrons, which can ‘ break’ the molecules of ethanol resulting in new compounds. Ethanol consists of carbon molecules, hydrogen and oxygen, so predictably obtaining at least hydrogen and carbon. But not so the carbon atoms were associated resulting graphene, whose analysis was derived which is of high quality and free of metals, by not using catalysts in the process. This research was conducted within the framework of a project funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
To the industrial scale
Experimentally described the double track to obtain hydrogen from ethanol graphene, researchers are already working on industrial scale through a research and development (R & D) of the Government of Andalusia. “Initially, we will simultanear this two-way have opened,” said Calzada, “we do not know at all to where we can go and which of the two compounds may be more profitable from the economic point of view”.
Hydrogen battery is a reality and there are vehicles on the roads of the United States or Germany. However, it is given its novelty, further research on them because even all possibilities are not known. Hence, the hydrogen obtained by this technology will be used to analyze the workability of the fuel cell with hydrogen by the decomposition of ethanol.
With graphene, it is intended to produce new electrodes for fuel cells that do not need to use platinum as a catalyst, helping to lower the cost of this type of CPAP Batteries. The University of Cordoba has opened, in this sense, a new line of work to explore the potential of graphene in the energy field.
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