Hydrogen storage gets a boost

As we've all been made well aware, one of the reasons hydrogen-powered vehicles remain on the horizon of power-train technology is the absence of a practical, low-cost, high-capacity storage solution for such a combustible fuel. Until now, most auto manufacturers have resorted to using compressed hydrogen gas in their fuel-cell prototypes. Recently, however, a group of physicists at Seoul National University have made a considerable break-through in practical hydrogen storage.
Jisoon Ihm and his colleagues have discovered a polymer (more specifically, polyacetylene with titanium atoms attached to the polymer chain) that can hold 63 kilograms of hydrogen per cubic meter. As a point of reference, the U.S. Department of Energy stated that a target of 45 kilograms per cubic meter should be reached by 2010.

One of the most significant aspects of this discovery is that the hydrogen does not have to be stored in low temperatures or high pressures bringing us conceptually closer to the possibility of a safe "tank" of hydrogen in the boot. The practicality of any limitations on refueling or any sort of speculation on a hydrogen infrastructure was not discussed in this article.

Ihm says they are currently working in collaboration with other researchers to create titanium decorated polymers and are in the process of measuring their storage capacities.

[Source: physicsweb]

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