Some news on the hydrogen storage front...
Graphite films only nanometers or billionths of a meter thick could help store hydrogen in an inexpensive, easily manufactured, lightweight and nontoxic manner, an international team of scientists told UPI's Nano World.
"If -- and that's a very large if -- a practical method for preparing the nanostructures can be found, there is a possibility for large-scale, economical production," said researcher John Tse, a materials scientist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
An effective hydrogen storage method has been a big stumbling block for, for example, hydrogen fueled vehicles, largely because "storing hydrogen often demands extreme cold, heat or pressure, which requires equipment that is heavy, bulky or expensive."
Previous studies had concluded that nano-graphite was a poor storage option and that carbon nanotubes were much better, but that could be wrong.
Tse and colleagues at the Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences in Ottawa and the Technical University of Dresden in Germany reinvestigated graphite via mathematical models and found the prior studies were incomplete when it came to exploring interactions between carbon and hydrogen on a quantum level.
They found graphite layers spaced slightly less than a nanometer apart can store hydrogen at room temperature and moderate pressures at close to a good weight. So the researchers contend graphite is a better option than carbon nanotubes, because it is far easier and less expensive to prepare. Another good possibility is the use of porous carbon foams.