Fuel Cells Developed by Washington State Researchers Increase Airplane Efficiency

A project started 10 years ago by researchers at Washington State University has produced a solid-oxide fuel cell that can convert jet fuel or gasoline to electricity and deliver electrical power on commercial airplanes.

The electrochemical reaction caused when using a solid-oxide fuel cell to convert fuel to electricity is approximately four times more efficient than a combustion engine. These fuel cells increase fuel efficiency also reduce emissions of harmful pollutants. The team imagines using these fuel cells with a battery to power auxiliary power units, instead of using gas turbines to run lights, navigation systems and other electrical systems.

Read more how the researchers hope to integrate this same fuel-cell technology into cars.