Hydrogen Storage for Fuel Cells: Carbon Nanotubes

hydrogen_nano2.jpgWe may get a chance to see hydrogen cars become a sustainable reality - and more importantly, people who like to protest nanotechnology in the buff (THONG). The National Institute of Standards and Technology theorist Taner Yildirim and physicist Salim Ciraci of Turkey's Bilkent University have a possible fix for storing/using hydrogen safely as a fuel – and it involves carbon nanotubes, titanium, and attention to design.By placing a titanium atom in the correct position over the regular geometry of the carbon atoms of the nanotube, the scientists believe conditions would be ripe for holding onto hydrogen atoms. The kind of chemical bond formed between the carbon, titanium and hydrogen is unusual, but they believe not only will the arrangement exceed the 6 percent minimum storage-capacity requirement set by the FreedomCar Research Partnership, but that the chemistry is entirely reversible and reusable. The NIST website has links to some pretty interesting models of how the system works if you are into that sort of thing.

This advancement brings more hope to the hydrogen fuel economy which has been panned by critics as pie in the sky, and unrealistic in large part due to the tricky issue of hydrogen storage and use as a fuel. It is also another example of how important thinking and modeling in 3 dimensions is to advancing our understanding of the world. ::NIST ::THONG


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