Patent for new hydrogen fuel storage technology issued in the USSeptember 13, 2013
New patent highlights hydrogen fuel storage technology
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a new patent to Peter Schubert, director of the Richard Lugar Renewable Energy Center at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The patent outlines a new hydrogen fuel storage system and how storage technology can be used with fuel cell energy systems. Storage has been a major challenge for hydrogen fuel over the past several years. Conventional storage methods require significant amounts of energy and are often considered to be considerably expensive. Finding ways to make hydrogen fuel storage more efficient and affordable has been a focus for renewable energy researchers for some time.
Technology meant to store hydrogen as a solid
The patent details a storage system that makes use of porous silicon, which allows hydrogen to be stored at moderate temperatures. Most conventional storage methods require either extremely high or low temperatures in order to store hydrogen fuel effectively. The storage technology outlined in the patent is meant to store hydrogen in a solid-state. Schubert’s research team suggests that it is a major breakthrough in terms of hydrogen fuel storage technology and the system will be able to store up to 6.6% by weight of solid-state hydrogen.
Hydrogen Sponge to tackle issue of funding research and development efforts
As with any emergent technology, funding is one of the major challenges currently facing Schubert and his team. Without adequate funding, the technology is unlikely to move beyond the initial testing and development stages. In order to address this issue, Schubert has worked with the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation to form Hydrogen Sponge, a company that will focus on driving the development of the hydrogen fuel storage technology forward.
Chinese investors may provide financial support
Hydrogen Sponge will be tackling the issue of funding research and development of Schubert’s technology. Schubert, along with the company and his research team, will be engaging Chinese investors later in the month in the hopes of finding financial support. Several Chinese investors have expressed enthusiasm when it comes to hydrogen fuel, believing that this form of renewable energy could eventually replace fossil-fuels.