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US engineers have developed a direct carbon fuel cell that runs at relatively lower temperatures and higher maximum power densities and offers a much cleaner way to generate electricity from fossil fuels. Direct carbon fuel cells (DCFC) run off carbon-based resources, such as coal, coke, tar, biomass or organic waste. Most fuel cells run off...
Polystyrene ball levitating using acoustics
Engineers from the University of Bristol have trapped objects larger than the wavelength of sound in an acoustic tractor beam and kept them there stably. Acoustic tractor beams use sound to hold particles in mid-air. Unlike magnetic levitation, they can grab most solids or liquids. The research, which uses ultrasonic waves, could lead to the development...
Japanese carmaker Mazda has released details of its “sparkless” ignition engine SkyActiv-X, which it says improves the efficiency of petrol engines by 30%. The engine uses a combustion method called “Spark Controlled Compression Ignition” to enable a petrol engine to run in the same way a diesel engine and thereby combine the best characteristics of...
US engineers have reduced the size of radio-frequency identification tags by 25% and made them cheaper by eliminating the need for the tags to convert AC to DC power. Traditionally, passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology uses a “reader” to transmit a radio signal that is picked up by the tag. The AC of the radio...
Engineering firm Acal Energy has said its proprietary fuel cell has successfully run for 10,000 hours on a test rig, proving its suitability for use in automotive applications. The fuel cell replaces the platinum catalysts in the cathode of a conventional Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a liquid catalyst. The “FlowCath” liquid is...