Friday, April 22, 2011

Say hello to cheaper hydrogen fuel cells

Gang Wu and Piotr Zelenay examine fuel cell energy production data. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a way to avoid the use of expensive platinum in hydrogen fuel cells, the environmentally friendly devices that might replace current power sources in everything from personal data devices to automobiles.

In a paper published Science, Los Alamos researchers Gang Wu, Christina Johnston,
and Piotr Zelenay, joined by researcher Karren More of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, describe the use of a platinum-free catalyst in the cathode of a hydrogen fuel cell. (Full Story)

New technology improves fuel cells

U.S. researchers say they've developed an inexpensive substitute for expensive platinum that's been a stumbling block to widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists say eliminating the need for platinum -- currently costing almost $1,800 an ounce -- in fuel cells that convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity could bring the price down for the environmentally friendly devices that might replace current power sources in everything from personal data devices to automobiles. (Full Story)

Los Alamos scientists propose new theory for development of turbulent magnetic reconnection

New LANL 3-D model shows the formation of "flux ropes" in a thin boundary layer of a magnetic field. LANL image.

In this week's Nature Physics, Los Alamos physicist Bill Daughton and a team of scientists present a new theory of how magnetic reconnection proceeds in high-temperature plasmas.

Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in physics, the continuous breaking and rearrangement of magnetic field lines in a plasma-a hot ionized gas. Understanding reconnection phenomena has broad implications in how Earth's magnetosphere functions, how solar flares and coronal mass ejections work-and how they might affect our planet. (Full Story)

LANL studies Earth's magnetosphere

3-D supercomputer model presents a new theory of how magnetic reconnection works in high-temperature plasmas. This Los Alamos National Laboratory research supports an upcoming NASA mission to study Earth's magnetosphere in greater detail than ever. (See the video here!)

The botnets that won't die

Stephan Eidenbenz of Los Alamos National Laboratory and colleagues designed and simulated a botnet (Robot Network) that could prove much more resilient. They describe it in an upcoming paper in Computer Networks.

Their hypothetical botnet would randomly configure itself into a hierarchy, with peers accepting commands only from computers higher up in the hierarchy. Any computer taken over by an outsider would thus be less likely to be able to disrupt the network. (Full Story)

LANL statistician receives Governor's Award

Christine Anderson-Cook.

The New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women selected Los Alamos National Laboratory research statistician Christine Anderson-Cook as one of 20 women to receive the 26th Annual Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women. (Full Story)

Biomagnetics and LANL agreement produce validated assay for tuberculosis biomarker

LANL has constructed a new bench-top type waveguide based biosensor system, developed a validated assay for a Tuberculosis biomarker, evaluated multiple assays developed using the bench top system specifically built for Biomagnetics, and is working on re-optimizing the proximity based assay for the cholera toxin on the newly constructed system. (Full Story)

Expanded hydropower plant powers up

Los Alamos County and federal officials fired up the Abiquiú hydropower plant Thursday, the first completed hydroelectric project in the nation funded by federal economic-stimulus money.

The 3-megawatt, low-flow hydropower turbine increases energy generation capacity at the existing facility by 22 percent to 16.8 megawatts and can power 1,100 homes a year. The Abiquiú facility serves homes in Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

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