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Hanyang University chief's work published in Nature journal

By Lee Hyun-jeong
  • Published : Apr 28, 2016 - 16:28
  • Updated : Apr 28, 2016 - 17:35
Research led by a local college president was recently published in the international weekly journal of science Nature, school officials said Thursday.

It is rare for a local university leader’s work to be published in the international journal.

Hanyang University said its study led by president Lee Young-moo on hydrocarbon fuel-cell membranes with surface nanocrack coatings was published in the latest issue of Nature. The study featured an innovative way to provide fuel cells, which are essential for hydrogen-fueled cars.
Hanyang University president Lee Young-moo announces the results of his research at the college in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
The membrane is considered a core part of the hydrogen fuel cell that generates electricity through electrochemical reactions. So far, the membrane for hydrogen fuel cells have been made of fluorine-related materials. This has posed challenges as it involves significant cost and is not durable in temperatures of over 100 degrees Celsius.

The Hanyang research team succeeded in making polymeric membranes through hydrocarbon. Water content in hydrocarbon polymer membranes is controlled through nanocracks in a hydrophobic surface coating.

This not only allows the fuel cell to generate electricity in temperatures of over 120 degrees Celsius or in humidity of under 35 percent, but is also much cheaper, the school said.

“The development of hydrogen fuel cells is urgent as a renewable energy alternative. The new technology will hopefully allow the common use of hydrogen energy-driven fuel cells,” the energy engineering expert said.

Lee, inaugurated last year, is a leading expert in membrane study. Having obtained about 120 patents in the field, he has released more than 360 articles here and abroad, with two published in Science.

The president has also served as one of editors of the Journal of Membrane published by Elsevier since 2004.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)