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Dr. Su Ha(r) with graduate student Byeong Wan Kwon (WSU news)

A research team at WSU with Drs. M. Grant Norton and Su Ha and 12 graduate students in the Voilland College of Engineering and Architecture have been collaborating with the Boeing Corporation and Korea’s Kyung Hee University to develop the first fuel cell that converts chemical energy to electrical energy.

This project has been underway almost nine years after Boeing requested research proposals to develop new environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies for use in their aircraft. Boeing has funded this research since then and the WSU researchers created a first of its kind solid-oxide fuel cell the size of a silver dollar. It is environmentally friendly and efficient, and does not produce toxic emissions, but is currently not large enough to use in planes. Their goal is to make a smaller scale prototype that can be used with gasoline or jet fuel and not hydrogen like the cells in Toyota or Honda cars.

The benefits of these fuel cells are even great than those discussed above. The new cells have water by-products, no noise, higher and more efficient energy conversion, use 75 percent less gas to produce the same energy, and cars can be refueled at regular gas stations.

The ultimate goal for this fuel cell technology is to have it successfully commercialized in the marketplace for widespread use.

You can read more about these researchers at:  https://news.wsu.edu/2014/06/16/wsu-researchers-develop-fuel-cells-for-increased-airplane-efficiency/#.U7RnELH5dps.