Jet fuel development good for the environment

5 Nov 2014

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US researchers have developed jet fuel that doesn’t need to be burned off, making it far cleaner and more efficient.

Engineers in Utah developed the first room-temperature fuel cell that uses enzymes to help the production of electricity without needing ignition.

A new study shows that these new fuel cells can be used to power portable electronics, off-grid power and sensors.

Fuel works by cells converting energy into electricity through a chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxygen-rich source, such as air.

According to Phys.org’s article on the development, “If a continuous flow of fuel is provided, a fuel cell can generate electricity cleanly and cheaply. While batteries are used commonly to power electric cars and generators, fuel cells also now serve as power generators in some buildings, or to power fuel-cell vehicles, such as prototype hydrogen-powered cars.”

Shelley Minteer, a professor at University of Utah and the study’s senior author, explains, “The major advance in this research is the ability to use Jet Propellant-8 directly in a fuel cell without having to remove sulphur impurities or operate at very high temperature.”

Jet stream image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com