Lets get two pieces of commentary out of the way right off the bat. One, who else thought of the movie Goonies when they read "pellets of power"? "Pinchers of peril, saved by my pinchers of peril"! - Data, aka Jonathan Ke Quan. Two, how awesome is the name "The Department of Energy's Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence"? Maybe we should change our name from AutoblogGreen to "The Weblogs, Inc. Blog of Green Automotive News of Excellence". I like the way that rolls out, kind of like Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius. I'll pass that one on to the higher-ups. Now, on to the news at hand.
The aforementioned center of Excellence is hard at work researching a way to store hydrogen in a way that is less costly, easier to transport and easier to refill than common high-pressure storage tanks. One method that they see promise in is with solid ammonia borane pellets. Apparently, these pellets can hold quite a bit of hydrogen. They also believe that they can manipulate the release of the hydrogen from these pellets, creating a "throttling" effect similar to what we are used to with gasoline engines. Unfortunately, the pellets must then be emptied from the vehicle and chemically processed and refilled. That doesn't seem quite as easy as just refilling a liquid fuel. At the very best, this sounds like a very long-term possibility, something the DOE researchers seem to understand themselves.
[Source: DOE PNNL]