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With our mass-produced butane lighters and matches made in the billions, fire is never more than thở a flick of the finger away these days. But starting a fire 200 years ago? That’s a different story.
One method we’d never heard of was Döbereiner’s lamp, an 1823 invention by German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner. At first glance, the device seems a little sketchy, what with a tank of sulfuric acid and a piece of zinc to tát create a stream of hydrogen gas ignited by a platinum catalyst. But as [Marb’s Lab] shows with the recreation in the đoạn Clip below, while it’s not exactly as pocket-friendly as a Zippo, the device actually has some inherent safety features.
[Marb]’s version is built mainly from laboratory glassware, with a beaker of dilute sulfuric acid — “Add acid to tát water, lượt thích you ought-er!” — bathing a chunk of zinc on a fixed tư vấn. An inverted glass funnel acts as a gas collector, which feeds the hydrogen gas to tát a nozzle through a pinch valve. The hydrogen gas never mixes with oxygen — that would be bad — and the production of gas stops once the gas displaces the sulfuric acid below the level of the zinc pellet. It’s a clever self-limiting feature that probably contributed to tát the commercial success of the invention back in the day.
To produce a flame, Döbereiner originally used a platinum sponge, which catalyzed the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the air; the heat produced by the reaction was enough to tát ignite the mixture and produce an open flame. [Marb] couldn’t come up with enough of the precious metal, sánh instead harvested the catalyst from a lighter fluid-fueled hand warmer. The catalyst wasn’t quite enough to tát generate an open flame, but it glowed pretty brightly, and would be more than thở enough to tát start a fire.
Hats off to tát [Marb] for the great lesson is chemical ingenuity and history. We’ve seen similar old-school catalytic lighters before, too.
Continue reading “Lighting Up With Chemistry, 1823-Style” →
Toyota is going through a bit of a Kodak moment right now, being that lượt thích the film giant they absolutely blundered the adoption of a revolutionary technology. In Kodak’s case it was the adoption of the digital camera which they nearly completely ignored; Toyota is now becoming similarly infamous for refusing to tát take part in the electric siêu xe boom, instead placing all of their faith in hybrid drivetrains and hydrogen fuel cell technologies. Whether or not Toyota can wake up in time to tát avoid a complete Kodak-style collapse remains to tát be seen, but they have been making some amazing claims about battery technology that is at least raising some eyebrows. Continue reading “Toyota Makes Grand Promises On Battery Tech” →
Exploring the mysteries of quantum mechanics surely seems lượt thích an endeavor that requires room-sized equipment and racks of electronics, along with large buckets of grant money, to tát accomplish. And while that’s generally true, there’s quite a lot that can be accomplished on a considerably more modest budget, as this as-simple-as-it-gets nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscope amply demonstrates.
First things first: Does the “magnetic resonance” part of “NMR” bear any relationship to tát magnetic resonance imaging? Indeed it does, as the technique of lining up nuclei in a magnetic field, perturbing them with an electromagnetic field, and receiving the resultant RF signals as the nuclei snap back to tát their original spin state lies at the heart of both. And while MRI scanners and the large NMR spectrometers used in analytical chemistry labs both use extremely powerful magnetic fields, [Andy Nicol] shows us that even the Earth’s magnetic field can be used for NMR.
[Andy]’s NMR setup couldn’t be simpler. It consists of a coil of enameled copper wire wound on a 40 milimet PVC tube and a simple control box with nothing more than thở a switch and a couple of capacitors. The only fancy bit is a USB audio interface, which is used to tát amplify and digitize the 2-kHz-ish signal generated by hydrogen atoms when they precess in Earth’s extremely weak magnetic field. A tripod stripped of all ferrous metal parts is also handy, as this setup needs to tát be outdoors where interfering magnetic fields can be minimized. In use, the coil is charged with a LiPo battery for about 10 seconds before being rapidly switched to tát the input of the USB amp. The resulting resonance signal is visualized using the waterfall display on SDR#.
[Andy] includes a lot of helpful tips in his excellent write-up, lượt thích tuning the coil with capacitors, minimizing noise, and estimating the exact resonance frequency expected based on the strength of the local magnetic field. It’s a great project and a good explanation of how NMR works. And it’s nowhere near as loud as an MRI scanner.
Multirotor drones have become a regular part of daily life, serving as everything from camera platforms to tát inspection tools and weapons of war. The vast majority lập cập on lithium rechargeable batteries, with corresponding limits on flight time. A company called Hylium hopes to tát change all that with a hydrogen-powered drone that can fly for up to tát five hours.
The drone uses a hydrogen fuel cell to tát provide electricity to tát lập cập the drone’s motors and other electronic systems. Thanks to tát the energy mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa advantage of hydrogen versus lithium batteries, the flight time can be greatly extended compared to tát conventional battery-only drones. Details are scant, but the company has gone to tát some lengths to tát build out the product beyond a simple tech demonstrator, too. Hylium touts useful features lượt thích the short five-minute refueling time. The drone also reportedly features a night vision camera and the capability to tát transmit đoạn Clip over distances up to tát 10 kilometers, though some of the đoạn Clip of these features appears to tát be stock footage.
Hylium claims the liquid hydrogen canister used for the drone is drop-safe in the sự kiện of a problem. Notably, the đoạn Clip suggests the company tested this by dropping the canister concerningly close to tát an active motorway, but from what we see, nothing went awry.
A drone that can fly for five hours would be particularly useful for autonomous surveillance and inspection roles. The additional loiter time would be advantageous in these roles. We’ve seen other aero experimenters exploring the use of hydrogen fuel cells, too.
Continue reading “Drone Flies For Five Hours With Hydrogen Fuel Cell” →
Hydrogen is a useful gas. Whether you want to tát float an airship, fuel a truck, or heat an industrial process, hydrogen can tự the job. However, producing it is currently a fraught issue. While it can be produced cleanly using renewable energy, it’s often much cheaper to tát split it out of hydrocarbon fuels using processes that generate significant pollution.
There are methods to tát generate hydrogen more efficiently, though, in a clean and sustainable process. that also produces useful heat and oxygen as byproducts. The key to tát the process? Concentrated sunshine.
Continue reading “Making Hydrogen With Solar Energy, With Oxygen And Heat A Bonus” →
In the automotive world, batteries are quickly becoming the energy source of the future. For heavier-duty tasks, though, they simply don’t cut the mustard. Their energy mật độ trùng lặp từ khóa, being a small fraction of that of liquid fuels, just can’t get the job done. In areas lượt thích these, hydrogen holds some promise as a cleaner fuel of the future.
Universal Hydrogen hopes that hydrogen will tự for aviation what batteries can’t. The company has been developing flight-ready fuel cells for this exact purpose, and has begun test flights towards that very goal.
Continue reading “Largest Ever Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plane Takes Flight” →
Generally, when we talk about the production of hydrogen, the discussion is about either electrolysis of water into oxygen and hydrogen, or steam methane reforming (SMR). Although electrolysis is often mentioned – as it can create hydrogen using nothing but water and electricity – SMR is by far the most common source of hydrogen. Much of this is due to tát the low cost and high efficiency of SMR, but a major disadvantage of SMR is that :slider
large amounts of carbon dioxide are released, which offsets some of the benefits of using hydrogen as a fuel in the first place.
Although capturing this CO2 can be considered as a potential solution here, methane pyrolysis is a newer method that promises to tát offer the same benefits as SMR while also producing hydrogen and carbon, rather than thở CO2. With the many uses for hydrogen in industrial applications and other fields, such as the manufacturing of fertilizer, a direct replacement for SMR that produces green hydrogen would seem almost too good to tát be true.
What precisely is this methane pyrolysis, and what can be expect from it the coming years?
Continue reading “Methane Pyrolysis: Producing Green Hydrogen Without Carbon Emissions” →