Scientists shed light on dehydrogenationJuly 18, 2012
An understanding of dehydrogenation could pave the way for more efficient storage technologies
Scientists from the University of California have gained new insight on the kinectics of hydrogen release, also known as dehydrogenation. Dehydrogenation refers to the release of stored hydrogen molecules. The efficient release of hydrogen is a vital part of the effective storage of hydrogen fuel. For several years, problems with inefficient storage methods have held hydrogen fuel back. Researchers believe that a better understanding of dehydrogenation could unlock new technologies and methodologies to store hydrogen fuel more efficiently.
Computer simulation highlights the capabilities of aluminum hydride
Researchers from the university has created a computer simulation that models dehydrogenation from aluminum hydride, a material that has been gaining acclaim for its prospects in the realm of energy storage. The simulations mimic the basic mechanisms of the chemical processes that go into dehydrogenation. According to Professor Chris Van de Walle, the simulations show that aluminum hydride has the capability to quickly release hydrogen molecules quickly, but not too fast to cause any significant problems.
Hydrogen adoption could be hastened through more efficient storage
Hydrogen is becoming a more popular alternative to conventional fuels. The auto industry has, thus far, emerged as one of the largest advocates for hydrogen fuel in recent times. While other industries are beginning to warm to the notion of utilizing hydrogen as a source of energy, the issue of efficient storage has kept the adoption of the alternative energy relatively slow. If the issue of efficient storage can be rectified, hydrogen fuel could become one of the dominant forms of energy.
Further research of dehydrogenation and storage technologies requires funding
Researchers from the University of California believe that the insight provided through their computer simulations could further the development of efficient hydrogen fuel storage technologies. Time will tell whether this is the case, however, as the research and development necessary for new hydrogen storage systems is subject to adequate funding.
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