New liquid material from University of Oregon could store hydrogen gas

New liquid material from University of Oregon could store hydrogen gas

December 14, 2011 0 By Stephen Vagus

Hydrogen storage has been a major problem barring the widespread acceptance of the element as a fuel.

The best way to store hydrogen has long been in the form of a gas. This method of storage, however, requires a massive amount of energy to store the gas at high pressures. When stored at high pressures, the gas can cause a great deal of damage if the storage tank were punctured. Researchers from the University of Oregon may have found a new way to store hydrogen in a gaseous state.

Professor of chemistry Shih-Yuan Liu has developed a new way to store hydrogen gas in a liquid boron-nitrogen-based material. The material effectively captures hydrogen gas and holds the element until commanded to release.

The liquid material can release hydrogen at a fast, safe and controlled pace, making it a viable storage method for the fuel in a variety of applications.

At present, Professor Liu says that the storage method can be used to provide fuel to mobile fuel cells – those used to power smart phones and other  mobile fuel cells . The device can be scaled up to be used with vehicles, which is ideal for the number of automakers planning to launch hydrogen-powered vehicles in the near future. The only problem with liquid storage is weight, but Liu suggests that the material can be tweaked to circumvent such an issue.