Report shows that hydrogen can be safely stored at low pressuresOctober 12, 2011
A report from the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research in Taiwan suggests that no new technologies need to be developed in order to store hydrogen efficiently. The report runs contrary to a popular belief in the scientific community that holds that current methods of hydrogen storage make the use of the fuel unviable in a commercial setting. Storage is, indeed, a major issue when it comes to hydrogen as a fuel. The issue is so problematic for the hydrogen industry that it has crippled commercial acceptance of hydrogen fuel.
Researchers at the Institute found that hydrogen gas can be stored safely at 500psi, much lower than the pressures at which hydrogen must be stored using conventional storage methods. This low-pressure storage is achieved through the use of activated carbon, a highly porous material, and platinum. Lining a basic storage tank with these materials can effectively reduce the pressure at which hydrogen gas must be stored and improve the safety of tanks overall.
The report notes that this method may be able to help lower the cost of hydrogen storage tanks as they will no longer need to be manufactured to withstand high pressures. This will also make the tanks safer to use in transportation as there will be a reduced risk associated to damaged tanks. Whether this method will catch on now that efforts are already underway to introduce new storage technologies to the hydrogen industry is unclear, but researchers hope that simple storage methods will prevail.