Fuel cell research center to develop and test new technologies

The energy source that powered the Space Shuttle, Apollo, Skylab and Gemini spacecraft might one day operate your portable phone, your car and your neighborhood's electric power plant.

This source -- the fuel cell -- is a primary focus of a new research center at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The Center for Innovative Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies will take a multidisciplinary approach to fuel cell and battery-related research, said center director Dr. David Parekh.

"At Georgia Tech, we have a broad range of expertise in this field. The center will serve as a catalyst for revolutionary advances through world-class research integrated across disciplines and spanning from fundamental discovery to application-specific prototypes," Parekh said.

Groundbreaking research in these areas will move the world toward more sustainable energy sources. Additionally, recent research at Georgia Tech on fuel cells and related electrochemical devices has led to the invention of several processes that enable waste streams from commercial chemical manufacturing to be profitably recycled to provide fresh feed to the manufacturing plants.

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that operates much like a battery. It combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce electricity and heat, releasing water as a byproduct. Fuel cells are a clean, environmentally friendly, versatile, reliable and efficient power source.

Batteries, of course, are familiar to most of us, as are their advantages as compact, portable and self-contained power sources. But this recognized technology also can benefit from research advancements in rapid charging, measuring the charge a battery contains at any given time, and development of new types, sizes and configurations of batteries to run cars and other devices. Georgia Tech's center will focus on fuel cell and battery technology for wireless telecommunications, ultra-low emission vehicles and

Contact: Jane Sanders
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News

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