An advance comparable to that of the combination of a telephone, a browser and a camera for the world of telephony but, in this case, transferred to the production and storage of clean energy. It is with this in mind that the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) sees a device it has just designed and which, by joining the supercapacitors in the process of splitting water known as electrolysis , can generate clean electricity and fuel, and therefore do more at a cost that could open the door to affordable hydrogen cars.

“Hydrogen vehicles for the masses, one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to a UCLA invention”, the aforementioned university gives the right to a Release official in which he explains the results of this two-in-one device which, from solar energy, can supply and store energy for use in electronic equipment, as well as generate hydrogen for vehicles that use this fuel.

With this, the hydrogen obtained would be clean, which cannot be said today of 95% of world production, which is also the cause of significant pollutant emissions due to the still necessary fossil fuel conversion processes. to generate hydrogen.

But, in addition to being cleaner, the hydrogen that could be obtained with this device would also be significantly cheaper. He did not sweat how much, but the person in charge of this research, the professor of chemistry and biochemistry Richard Kaner, assures that his system “It could drastically reduce the cost of hydrogen cars”. Because? Because This advancement eliminates the need to turn to platinum and other expensive metals. Against these materials, commonly used to produce hydrogen, this team opts for nickel, iron and cobalt; elements “Much more abundant and cheaper”.

To move in this direction and shape a device capable of providing users with both electricity for their devices and fuel for their vehicles, the secret lies in a third electrode that this team added to the positive and negative hydrogen fuel cells and supercapacitors.

is The extra-nanometric electrode is a thousand times thinner than a hair and acts as a supercapacitor for energy storage. At the same time, it allows the water to be divided into hydrogen and oxygen. Thus, this electrode, as well as the two conventional ones, would be connected in a single solar cell that would power the device, which could store energy in the form of hydrogen or electrochemically, in the supercapacitor.

Even if the device designed with this formula is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, el equipo investigador abre la vía a versiones más grandes y avanza ya el enormous impacto que puede tener su innovación para los vehículos de hidrógeno pero, también, para áreas rural, zonas remotas, grandes ciudades that necesitan almacenar sus excedentes de electricidad o, included , beyond. “The new technology could lead to new applications that have not yet been or considered by researchers”, say the authors of this advance.