Probably the greatest problem that mankind faces in meeting the future is fueling the technology that is so important in our lives. Fossil fuels will not always be around to give our automobiles the power to take us to the supermarket. How will we then get our snacks and drinks to have in our homes? How will we have pizza delivered right to our doors? The answer to these questions lies in… chicken wire.
Fuel cells are electrochemical cells that convert chemical energy into electric energy. These cells can run continuously as long as they are properly supplied with the proper reactant and oxidant. Sounds great right? I think we should all have one. The problem is making a fuel cell that is large enough to produce energy to run the machines we need it to. A tiny, barely visible fuel cell will simply not make a car operate.
The problem is that fuel cells require an extremely thin membrane, which is difficult to make wide enough to produce such energy. Just like having a very thin cracker that is 10 ft by 10 ft it is not structurally strong enough to withstand any pressure. Researchers at Harvard have found a solution to this problem however: chicken wire shaped supports. The cell can be made much larger with these supports, and can produce proportionally more energy because of it.
So do not lose hope! Pizza delivery is not on the brink of extinction! We will still be enjoying treats delivered to our doors in the future, for many years to come.
Written by: Erik Alvarenga