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Research: Fuel cell with caffeine significantly more efficient

It is common knowledge that caffeine is a daily accelerator for humans. But apparently fuel cells also benefit from the substance. Japanese researchers have discovered that the caffeine contained in coffee or energy drinks can significantly increase efficiency.

Caffeine as a game changer for fuel cells?

In recent years, the fuel cell has increasingly become the focus of public discourse. In combination with hydrogen, they can not only generate green electricity. A few cars also rely on the technology. The best example is the Toyota Mirai, which is currently being given away in California. However, even though many see fuel cells as the savior of a carbon-neutral future, they still have a few problems.

So far, for example, the performance of a fuel cell can only be maintained by using a large amount of platinum, according to a report in Futurezone. But this is associated with high costs. So an alternative is needed. Researchers around the world are working on ways to increase the energy efficiency of this technology. This includes a team of researchers at Chiba University in Japan. They used caffeine in their experiment. And lo and behold, there was a significant increase in efficiency.

Brennstoffzelle

In the experimental setup, they dipped the platinum used in advance into an electrolyte mix containing caffeine. The caffeine ensured that the platinum could be used for longer, as it was more reactive. According to H2-News, the reactivity also increased with the concentration of caffeine. The results of the Japanese research team were published in Communications Chemistry. Here it was also possible to read that the results were not always optimal. The arrangement of the platinum atoms probably also plays an important role.

New fuel cell on the horizon?

As with any scientific experiment, the question of the benefits for the general public naturally arises. Could this possibly represent a revolution for the fuel cell, as it would make energy production significantly cheaper? We will probably have to wait a little longer before that happens. After all, the researchers have only discovered the potential that lies in the use of caffeine.

However, it will probably be years before an improved fuel cell is built. For one thing, it will still have to be clarified to what extent the platinum atoms need to be adapted so that they do not cancel out the positive effect of the caffeine. Unfortunately, the researchers also had to establish this. In addition, the laboratory findings will subsequently have to be tested in practice under “real conditions”. But it is certainly a step in the right direction.

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It is common knowledge that caffeine is a daily accelerator for humans. But apparently fuel cells also benefit from the substance. Japanese researchers have discovered that the caffeine contained in coffee or energy drinks can significantly increase efficiency. Caffeine as a game changer for fuel cells? In recent years, the fuel cell has increasingly become the focus of public discourse. In combination with hydrogen, they can not only generate green electricity. A few cars also rely on the technology. The best example is the Toyota Mirai, which is currently being given away in California. However, even though many see fuel … (Weiterlesen...)

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