New "corncob sponge" may be a breakthrough in methane, natural gas storage

The merits of ethanol can be debated all day, with opposing viewpoints ranging from "at least it's better than dino-juice" to "it's barely better than hydrogen" to "it's our only viable option". While the truth probably lies somewhere in between the extremes, most agree that corn is not the best source for a starting biomass. But, if corn is not good enough for ethanol, how about we save the corncobs for "sponges" that can store 180 times their own volume of natural gas or methane gas and at one seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks?

One exciting prospect of this technology is that the tanks made from corncobs bricks could be shaped into a flat "gas tank" style, eliminating the bulky storage tanks currently in use for natural gas storage. The current testbed is a pickup used by the Kansas City Office of Environmental Quality. This holds hope for a biomethane powered automobile. Will we ever be running our cars on cow manure?

[Source: The Sietch Blog via Hugg]

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