The Army Research Office has developed an artificial intelligence-based system that uses software agents to discover materials for fuel cells that may be used to develop batteries with prolonged life, Federal News Network reported Monday.
The CRYSTAL tool deploys bots that process permutations that would lead to the discovery of an efficient catalyst for oxidized methanol, a material that could double or even triple battery life compared to hydrogen. Methanol-based fuel cells are known to be less difficult to store compared to hydrogen-based fuel cells.
ARO partnered with Cornell University to develop the AI bots for material science applications. Purush Iyer, division chief of network sciences at ARO, said the AI-driven tool will ease the difficulties in trying out material combinations that would make the appropriate alloy.
“It not only establishes that this fuel cell work can be done, but it also establishes that AI is usable in areas that people don’t usually think of like material design and other engineering problems,” Iyer said.