Ever wonder what the connection between WMDs and the hydrogen economy might be? The Department of Energy knows, and it comes in the form of a miniature hydrogen gas sensor developed jointly by the DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. company and the Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry in Moscow, Russia. The groups came together under the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration's Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (GIPP) program, which is a nonproliferation program that "helps to redirect former weapons of mass destruction scientists to sustainable, non-military employment in countries where scientists and technicians are at risk of recruitment by terrorists or rogue states."

So, instead of maybe working on weapons, the scientists developed these sensors that are more reliable and quicker to detect hydrogen using a nanoscale approach. The DOE says they will "provide added safety, detection capability and efficiency to a variety of applications industry-wide." Battelle and Apollo, Inc. (of Kennewick, Wash.) were also involved in the sensor's development. The sensors could be used wherever hydrogen is stored.

[Source: DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory]

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