Just like coal, oil, natural gas and electricity, hydrogen is also an energy carrier – it contains energy that can be released, for example through combustion. Hydrogen has a high energy density of around 33 kWh per kilogram, almost three times the value of petrol. In practice, however, this high value is rather disappointing because […]

Carbon dioxide and global warming

The comfortable temperature on earth is due to the unique combination of the distance to the sun and the presence of our atmosphere. As a result, the earth absorbs just the right amount of solar energy we need for life as we know it. And the atmosphere acts as an insulating blanket, keeping the temperature […]

Nuclear energy

Nuclear power plants for energy generation use solid uranium oxide UO2 as “fuel”. If the uranium isotope 235U in the nuclear reactor is bombarded with slow neutrons, this produces an unstable uranium isotope 236U that very quickly decomposes into large nuclei with a mass number around 142 and around 92, such as barium and krypton. […]

Electrochemistry of the fuel cell

In an internal combustion engine in your car, the fuel – petrol, diesel, LPG – reacts directly with oxygen. The larger volume of combustion gases pushes a piston back and forth, and a crankshaft converts this back-and-forth movement into a rotating movement for the car wheels. Chemical energy from the fuel is converted into useful […]

Impedance spectroscopy: monitoring of electrochemical processes

If you want to measure the corrosion progress or the performance of a fuel cell, then impedance spectroscopy is a suitable technique. This allows you, for example, to monitor processes within electrochemistry such as corrosion over time by taking measurements at regular intervals. Materials science meets electrical engineering. Suppose you are an electrician and you […]

Laser: social medium avant la lettre

Lasers are everywhere around us, and are indispensable in our daily lives in applications such as metal cutting and welding, in DVD players and laser printers, to send signals through glass fibers, or to sinter particles to each other in 3D printing manufacturing processes. And where would science fiction movies like Star Wars be without […]

Electrochemistry behind rechargeable lithium ion batteries

Batteries exist by the grace of people who want to be mobile at all times. Lithium ion batteries are especially popular because of their high energy density – up to 200 Watts of energy per kilogram of battery. But also because they can be recharged over and over again without deteriorating significantly. And that’s why […]