November 14 , 07
New Hydrogen Storage Material Breakthrough

University of Virginia scientists said they discovered a new class of hydrogen storage materials that could make storing and transporting energy more efficient.

The higher performing hydrogen fuel also makes the processes more affordable, researchers from the Charlottesville, Va., university said in a news release Monday.

"In terms of hydrogen absorption, these materials could prove a world record," said Adam Phillips, one of the physicists who invented the new materials. "Most materials today absorb only 7 (percent) to 8 percent of hydrogen by weight, and only at (extremely low) temperatures. Our materials absorb hydrogen up to 14 percent by weight at room temperature."

The new materials potentially could provide an affordable solution to energy storage and transportation problems in a number of applications, the researchers said. The materials absorb a much higher percentage of hydrogen than their predecessors, exhibit faster kinetics at room temperature and lower pressures, and are inexpensive and simple to produce.

"These materials are the next generation in hydrogen fuel storage materials, unlike any others we have seen before," said physicist Bellave Shivaram, who also worked on the project. "(We) believe they have the potential to have a large impact."