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Fuel cell recycling industry may evolve in the UK

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 09:22:36

A new project, appropriately called Recover, is being worked on to eventually allow for the large scale recycling of fuel cells right here in the UK, according to Edie.net.

Fuel cells are effectively large batteries based on hydrogen and they are used to power a wide range of electronic items and assemblies already. This includes things like cellular masts, that deliver mobile phone coverage, as well as the growing number of hybrid and full electric vehicles.

A lot of energy is expended in procuring the materials found within fuel cells, so researchers are keen to reclaim this once the cell has reached the end of its life. And recycling of this kind could become a global concern; one which will help to boost the UK economy in years to come, if all goes to plan.

Project spokesperson, Roger Morton, explained that as fuel cells become more widely used, the need to recycle them will grow, allowing for a more cost-effective approach to powering the technology of tomorrow.

With platinum, carbon fibre and other precious materials involved in the manufacture of fuel cells, the expense of producing and using them can clearly be cut, if recycling is possible further down the line.

Of course, part of the issue is that current fuel cell technology is not designed with recycling in mind, which is something that the Recover project is setting out to change. Mr Morton predicts that within the next decade and a half, once the market has matured, there will be a pressing need to recycle old cells, just as there is a need to recycle old mobile phones and other consumer electronics at the moment.

It is good to see solutions looking to the future of how technology will be powered and also anticipating what needs to be done with the by-products.




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