Ukrainian research: photoelectrochemical cell for accumulation of "solar" hydrogen

Scientists from Vernadsky Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry and Frantsevich Institute for Problems of Materials Science of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine have developed Experimental photoelectrochemical cell for hydrogen accumulation under the action of sunlight. When the anode of this device is exposed to Sun, its cathode starts to produce hydrogen via photoelectrochemical reactions.
Such system can be used to generate hydrogen, which can be transformed later into electricity in a fuel cell, where hydrogen is oxidized by oxygen from air. It can be also used as a photoaccumulator, which will ensure uninterrupted power supply of consumers under conditions of changing light intensity.

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Ukrainian research: Carbon Honeycombs, new 3-D form of graphene with a large capacity for hydrogen storage

Carbon honeycomb is a new carbon structure, which the researchers describe as three-dimensional graphene. It could store large amounts of hydrogen gas, what could benefit hydrogen economy.
Carbon can form diamond, nanotubes, or the nanoscale spheres called fullerenes, as well as several other structures. Now a team of Nina V. Krainyukova and Evgeniy N. Zubarev of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences and National Technical University, both in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has produced what they call carbon honeycomb, a structure that appears to have a huge gas-storage capacity. By slightly altering a common fabrication method, the researchers created what appears to be a 3D honeycomb built from the carbon sheets known as graphene.

Carbon honeycombs

Ukrainian research: solid materials for hydrogen storage

Young engineer from the G. V. Kurdyumov Institute for Metal Physics (IMP) of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ph.D. Vladimir Dehtyarenko is working on development of new materials for hydrogen storage. His invention was awarded with the first prize at the competition of scientific and technical developments of young scientists within the international event "Science - Society - Personality".

Institute of Metal Physics

Building of the Institute for Metal Physics

Scientist is working on research of intermetallic compounds (chemical compounds between metals) in order to find a material capable of easily absorb a large amount of hydrogen gas, store it for some time and to release it easily when needed. Invention of such material will improve the ratio of the weight of hydrogen stored to the total weight of the system (ie, make these systems lighter) and increase the safety of hydrogen tanks. Vladimir Dehtyarenko and his team found that one compound based on titanium, manganese, zirconium and vanadium has great potential for use in the hydrogen industry as solid material for hydrogen storage.

Source: Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (in Ukrainian)

Ukrainian research: optimization of Ceramic Fuel Cells

Ceramic Fuel Cell (CFC), or in their probably first definition – Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), is a high temperature device that converts the chemical energy of fuel directly into electricity and heat. There are no intermediates in this process. Therefore, CFC as a fuel cell system can offer very high electrical efficiencies (twice as high as traditional converters like heat machines). They offer perspectives to decreasing fuel consumption for stationary (local combined heat and power, CHP), mobile (auxiliary power units, APU, or hybrid vehicles), or portable (battery replacer) applications, as well as reducing CO2, NOx and other pollutant emissions due to both much higher efficiency of energy conversion and comparatively low operating temperature. No moving parts are involved in the energy conversion process, which improves reliability and increases safety in the application.

However, some improvements are necessary to increase their reliability and make them cheaper.

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Ukrainian research laboratories working on hydrogen projects

Ukraine has a strong scientific foundation for implementation of hydrogen technologies. Since 2011 in the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine there is ongoing targeted complex program of fundamental research "Hydrogen in alternative energy and new technologies"
This program has 43 research projects, which are taking place in 17 institutions. Here is the list of research projects conducted in scientific laboratories in Ukraine.

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National Ukrainian Program for Hydrogen Energy

Ukraine now has its own national targeted program Fundamental problems of hydrogen energy for comprehensive research in the field of hydrogen production, storage and transportation. The goal of the program was to address the key technological and R&D aspects of the hydrogen fuel technologies and related activities and unite scientists from Ukrainian top research institutions and enterprises. 




Ukrainian specialists in the Indian project of iron powder preparation

Resource and energy conservation are vital problems of the present time. Either in science or in technology domain this issue is important.

Powder metallurgy is constantly and rapidly evolving technology. Only the European market of powder metallurgy has an annual turnover of over 6 billions euros, and the annual world production of powdered metals excess one million tons.


Hydrogen production by underground coal gasification

In Ukraine was developed and patented the geotechnology of obtaining hydrogen by underground gasification of different grades of coal (UGG). Resulting product -  synthesis gas - contains 47,9 vol % of hydrogen. After purification it gives 97-99% hydrogen. One ton of coal gives 40kg of hydrogen, with an estimated cost 0.5$ per 1kg of hydrogen.

Hydrogen production by underground coal gasification

Simplified diagram of Underground Coal Gassification (UCG). © BCG Energy

Hydrogen Production From Black Sea's Hydrogen Sulfide

The daily production of H2S gas by sulfur reducing bacteria in the Black Sea is about 10,000 tons and the reservoir of dissolved H2S is estimated to be 4.587 billion tons. Hydrogen gas can be obtained by simple decomposition of H2S. The Black Sea is an elliptical basin occupying area of 423 000 km2. The average depth is 1263 m suggesting a total volume of 534 000 km3. The Black Sea is unique because 90% of sea water is anaerobic. This anaerobic sea water contains hydrogen sulfide, produced by sulphur reducing bacteria. The interface between anaerobic and aerobic water layers is situated at a depth of about 200 m. Below 150–200m H2S concentration increases gradually until 1 km, and finally reaches nearly constant value of 9.5 mg/l at a depth around 1.5 km.

Reservoir of dissolved H2S in the Black Sea
Estimated quantity of H2S, dissolved in the Black Sea water.

Historic aspects of fuel cell development in Ukraine

This paper is an historical essay on development of fuel cell technologies in Ukraine and short description of the National Program on Fuel Cells. It is shown that fuel cell technologies have both many years positive experience in Ukraine owing to Oganes Davtjan's efforts since early 50th of the 20th century, which were interrupted by political events in the 70th, and opportune perspectives based on achievements determining these up-to-date high technologies like nanosized zirconia and other oxide powders, materials for interconnects and microturbines, production of hydrogen, gasification of coal as well as own zircon-sand and scandium ore deposits, well-developed manufacture of gas turbines and another  energetic components and equipment.