Organizations team to address hydrogen fuel storage challengesFebruary 19, 2014
University of Bolton establishes partnership to discover new methods of hydrogen storage
The United Kingdom’s University of Bolton has partnered with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the U.S. in order to develop new environmentally friendly vehicles and hydrogen storage methods. Researchers from the two organizations will be working together to develop nano-composite materials that are able to store hydrogen fuel efficiently. This fuel would then be used to power vehicles equipped with fuel cells. Researchers from the University of Bolton suggest that efficient hydrogen storage is the proverbial “Holy Grail” when it comes to a hydrogen economy powered by clean technology.
Efficient storage continues to be a problematic issue for hydrogen
Storage has long been an issue that has limited the appeal of hydrogen fuel and fuel cells. Modern methods of hydrogen storage are both somewhat inefficient and costly. Hydrogen production is quite expensive and is an energy intensive process. This process is made more difficult due to the shortcomings of modern storage methods. Overcoming the challenges that exist with storage could help make fuel cells more attractive in the transportation sector and elsewhere.
Nano-materials could be the key to solving the storage problem
Researchers are currently working on ways to turn common materials into hydrogen absorbers. These materials would store hydrogen in an efficient manner and make it easily accessible to later use. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been working to solve the problems of hydrogen storage for some time, but has made little progress beyond its research into using nano-materials. Together, the two organizations may be able to make significant progress and further highlight the benefits of hydrogen.
Efficient storage may help a fuel infrastructure take form more quickly
Most of the world’s major automakers have plans to launch hydrogen-powered vehicles in the near future. These vehicles are equipped with fuel cells and fuel tanks that store the hydrogen they need. Many automakers have shown that their fuel tanks are both durable and quite effective at storing hydrogen over a long period of time. Better storage methods are needed, however, in order for a fuel infrastructure that can support these vehicles to take form.