New molecule could help solve problems with hydrogen fuel infrastructure

July 30, 2014 0 By John Max

Scientists discover new molecule that could have a major impact on the way hydrogen is delivered to vehicles

Scientists from Australia and Taiwan have discovered a new molecule that could help them better understanding how to fuel vehicles equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. Fueling these vehicles has been one of the major challenges facing clean transportation. Modern fueling techniques are often considered inefficient, making fuel cell vehicles somewhat unattractive. The new molecule could provide some valuable insight into how fueling these vehicles could work in the relatively near future.

Chinese Puzzle Molecules sheds light on how hydrogen works in the fuel cell system of a vehicle

The new molecule is called the Chinese Puzzle Molecule. Scientists suggest that it is has been used to better understand how hydrogen is used in a vehicle’s fuel cell system. This understanding has highlighted issues with storage, as well. Hydrogen storage is often criticized, typically due to safety concerns. While most storage methods, especially those used by automakers, are quite safe, they are not necessarily efficient. Typical storage tanks have trouble dispensing hydrogen fuel in an effective manner.Hydrogen Fuel Research

Molecule is more stable than similar hydrides with metal cores

The molecule was first synthesized at the National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan, and later examined by a team of researchers at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization. The molecule has a metal hydride core, which is significantly more stable than similar hydride compounds. The Chinese Puzzle Molecule is even stable in air, whereas other such molecules are not.

Molecule could help researchers solve the infrastructure problem

The discovery of this new molecule and its capabilities could lead to breakthroughs in the development of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure. Without and infrastructure, fuel cell vehicles will not have the support they need to be successful, and automakers will have suffered a grievous financial blow. Many automakers have been investing in the establishment of a working hydrogen fuel infrastructure, but solving the problems with storage and the delivery of hydrogen has proven to be a difficult endeavor. Further study of the Chinese Puzzle Molecule could help researchers find ways to solve these problems.