MAY 02, 2017 10:58 AM PDT
Toyota Announces Hydrogen Truck
2 2 254

When it comes to finding alternatives for fossil fuels, it could be argued that the auto industry has been a little late to the party. While some companies are working on electric cars and hybrids, the fact remains that only about 3% of the cars on the road in the US are hybrids. What about other alternative energy? Hydrogen fuel cell cars are being talked about, but many fear the technology. Hydrogen can conjure up images of explosions and bombs, and that just doesn't sell. Toyota Motors of North America however is serious about its commitment to finding more eco-friendly ways to power cars and recently debuted a semi-tractor trailer powered entirely by hydrogen fuel cells. Dubbed "Project Portal" the truck harnesses the power of hydrogen and advanced physics to power a large truck that is slated for use at the Port of Los Angeles.

Hydrogen fuel cells use electricity to power an engine, however unlike electric or hybrid cars that use batteries with stored electricity, the power in a hydrogen fueled vehicle comes from reacting hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of an electrolyte - a non-metallic conductor in which electrical flow is carried by the movement of ions. These are called "proton-exchange membrane" cells. They work by delivering Hydrogen gas to a negatively charged anode on one side of the cell while oxygen is channeled to a positively charged cathode on the other side. At the anode, a catalyst, such as the precious metal platinum, knocks the hydrogen atoms' electrons off, leaving positively charged hydrogen ions and free electrons. A membrane placed between the anode and cathode only allows the ions to pass through. The electrons must travel along an external circuit generating an electric current and there you have it a hydrogen fuel cell powered truck. The technology is expensive at the moment and more refinements are needed, but the commitment by a major auto maker to use physics to lessen the environmental impact of large trucks is a step in the right direction.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
APR 30, 2018
Videos
APR 30, 2018
Uber Ride Sharing Hits the Bike Lane
A new venture expands Uber's established transportation fleet and mission to include the eco-friendly and healthy option of biking. In April 2018, the ride
MAY 22, 2018
Videos
MAY 22, 2018
Could Humankind Terraform Mars or Venus?
Earth might be our natural home in the solar system, but many scientists propose terraforming nearby planets like Mars and Venus such that they can be made
MAY 23, 2018
Videos
MAY 23, 2018
Pig Brains Kept Alive in a Lab?
When the brain stops functioning, the body will eventually die, usually quite soon after. However, MIT's Technology Review reports that a team at Yale was
MAY 28, 2018
Videos
MAY 28, 2018
How Will NASA Protect Earth From Potentially-Hazardous Asteroids?
Earth is no stranger to asteroids, but that's no reason to let our guard down. While many smaller asteroids break up in the planet's atmosphere, a larger o
MAY 30, 2018
Videos
MAY 30, 2018
What Color is the Sun?
Look at most child drawings, and you'll see the sun depicted as a yellow ball. Even many adults associate the color yellow with the star found at the cente
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
The Molecular Machinery of the Cell in Action
Cell division, also referred to as mitosis, is a critical process that keeps us alive. It has now been animated in detail.
Loading Comments...