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What wakes you up in the morning could revolutionize fuel cells

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Scientists have discovered that what makes you feel better also increases efficiency in fuel cells. What that means.

What does caffeine have to do with fuel cells? Caffeine is found in many popular drinks, whether coffee, tea, soft drinks or energy drinks, it is very popular for making you feel more alert. According to the latest findings (via nature.com) it also has a positive effect on the energy production process in fuel cells.

Wait, what exactly was a fuel cell again? It converts chemical energy into electrical energy. The most classic example is hydrogen and oxygen reacting with each other and platinum as a catalyst. The faster the reaction, the better, and this is where caffeine comes into play, because it gives the fuel cell a boost and thus saves platinum. This is because the precious metal is expensive and is “used up” in the cell over time:

Where are fuel cells used? You’re most likely to find them in everyday life in cars. Theoretically, a number of other areas, such as aircraft, are conceivable and are also being tested. But the weight of the hydrogen that needs to be carried sets limits here at a relatively early stage.

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Fancy a dose of caffeine?

How does caffeine help? It is added as part of a liquid and ensures that the platinum lasts longer and accelerates the water/oxygen reaction. Thanks to caffeine, the costs of fuel cells can be reduced and the power output increased.

So will we soon all be using fuel cells in devices? No, this innovation probably won’t suddenly make fuel cells a panacea for all our energy problems. But if used on a broad scale, it could help to promote their use in airplanes and trucks in the medium term and eventually make them part of everyday life.

We find high-tech of a completely different, almost magical kind in Dune. One example is the suits of the desert dwellers, the Fremen. Little or no excreted water is lost, thus ensuring survival in the deserts of Arrakis. In the following article, we introduce you to some YouTubers who improvised a replica, at least partially functional, in just one day: The desert suits from Dune sound far too good to work – fans have built one and are surprised.

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