If handled right, hydrogen has a huge potential, even so that it has been dubbed “the fuel of the future.” Meanwhile, we still have some brushing up to do for the “edges,” namely to find a way to make its storage more efficient and less pricey.
One path the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has taken is to try and synthesize new materials which have a high capacity of hydrogen absorption. To do that, it has received $2.1 million to take to terms such a project. Obviously, the stake is to find a way to improve the storage materials- the more hydrogen they contain, the fewer recharges are needed, so buyers are buying more into the idea of hydrogen-fueled cars.
So they have rolled up their sleeves and set to work. So far they’re working with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), three-dimensional constructions made up of carbon atoms, which they’re trying to modify so they hold as much hydrogen as possible. In the end, they can very well achieve that, twice better actually, but only at -321 degrees Fahrenheit.
The idea is to find materials able to increase storage capacity at room temperatures and co-leader of the project Berkeley Lab chemist Martin Head-Gordon is hoping to do just that. Right now, he’s more focused on these (MOFs), to study their potentially useful properties.
Other companies are also taking this route: DOE’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory with Ford, the HRL Laboratories in Malibu, CA and the University of Oregon. Whoever succeeds first can safely say they will have powered their way to the future!
[via Engineering On The Edge]