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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scientists Reach Hydrogen Storage Milestone

hydrogen car

Hydrogen cars may be feasible sooner than previously thought thanks to the efforts of a research team at the University of Crete in Greece. The scientists have developed a hydrogen storage model that can store up to 41 grams of hydrogen per liter— almost matching the US Department of Energy’s target of 45 grams per liter.

The storage structure consists of graphene sheets that are only one atom thick connected by vertical columns of carbon nanotubes. Hydrogen is stored in the gaps between the nanotubes and the graphene sheets. The researchers also added lithium ions to the structure for increased storage capacity.

In the past, one of the major drawbacks in using hydrogen for transportation purposes has been a lack of storage ability. This new discovery comes close to removing that hurdle. But since most hydrogen is still produced using fossil fuels, we still have a ways to go before hydrogen-powered cars are ready for commercial use.

>> Related: GM Backs Hydrogen Refueling Station Near LA

Photo Credit: PhysOrg