Less perfect grapheme gets protons through, improves fuel cells
Defective grapheme is going to be more valued than many pricey stuffs. A latest research has concluded that even defective grapheme with many hole can be very helpful. Researchers have said that if graphene has a few holes in it and that is natural and not by human intervention, the resulting proton-selective membrane may ensure better fuel cells.
This is going to be extremely important for scientists in the years ahead. Scientists working on the project claim that they were stumped when they realized that even defective graphene shuttles protons from one side of the graphene membrane to the other rather quickly. Researchers claim that taking apart protons from hydrogen is one of the biggest challenges as far as fuel cell technology is concerned.
Lead researcher Franz M. Geiger while talking about the findings says, â€œImagine an electric car that charges in the same time it takes to fill a car with gasâ€¦And better yet-imagine an electric car that uses hydrogen as fuel, not fossil fuels or ethanol, and not electricity from the power grid, to charge a battery. Our surprising discovery provides an electrochemical mechanism that could make these things possible one day.â€
In the course of the study scientists also found to their astonishment that the imperfect single-layer graphene actually produces a membrane that is the world’s thinnest proton channel.
A very excited Geiger says, â€œWe found if you just dial the graphene back a little on perfection, you will get the membrane you wantâ€¦ Everyone always strives to make really pristine graphene, but our data show if you want to get protons through, you need less perfect graphemeâ€¦Our results will not make a fuel cell tomorrow, but it provides a mechanism for engineers to design a proton separation membrane that is far less complicated than what people had thought beforeâ€¦All you need is slightly imperfect single-layer grapheneâ€. He is a renowned name in the field and is a professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.