Researchers create catalysts for use in hydrogen storage materials

Mar 24, 2009

A team of scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Uppsala in Sweden, and the Savannah River National Laboratory have identified that carbon nanostructures can be used as catalysts to store and release hydrogen, a finding that may point researchers toward developing the right material for hydrogen storage for use in cars.

Scientific findings indicate that hydrogen has all the makings of an ideal alternative fuel because it is clean, renewable and abundant, but there are challenges to safely and efficiently store it.

"Currently there are no materials that meet industry requirements. Our work paves the way to design and synthesize new and improved catalysts for the dehydrogenation of complex hydrides, taking us one step closer to finding the right material for hydrogen storage," said Puru Jena, Ph.D., distinguished professor in the VCU Department of Physics.

According to Jena, complex hydrides are a class of materials that have shown promise for the storage of hydrogen. Because complex hydrides are not reversible and removing hydrogen from them is difficult at temperatures less than 100°C, catalysts are needed to improve the reaction rates. However, previous studies indicate that the addition of catalysts creates defects in the hydrides.

The experimental group led by Ragaiy Zidan, Ph.D., a researcher at the Savannah National Laboratory, developed a solvent technique which allowed the introduction of carbon fullerenes and without introducing any defects and also functioned as catalysts. Jena and the team at the University of Uppsala led by Rajeev Ahuja, Ph.D., performed to illustrate the mechanism of how these catalysts work.

More information: The study appears online and in the journal . Article abstract -- http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl803498e

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University

Explore further: Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A promising step towards more effective hydrogen storage

Jun 16, 2008

An international research team led by Swedish Professor Rajeev Ahuja, Uppsala University, has demonstrated an atomistic mechanism of hydrogen release in magnesium nanoparticles – a potential hydrogen storage material. The ...

Developing Alternatives to Fossil Fuels

Jul 24, 2006

Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have developed a new storage system to hold large quantities of hydrogen fuel that may one day power cars in a more cost-effective and consumer-friendly way.

Hydrogen Storage for Cars?

Dec 21, 2007

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Unfortunately, one problem remains: Hydrogen is a gas and cannot easily be pumped into a tank like gasoline. Storage in the form of solid hydrides, chemical compounds of hydrogen and a ...

Recommended for you

DNA nanoswitches reveal how life's molecules connect

21 hours ago

A complex interplay of molecular components governs almost all aspects of biological sciences - healthy organism development, disease progression, and drug efficacy are all dependent on the way life's molecules ...

Holes in valence bands of nanodiamonds discovered

Jan 28, 2015

Nanodiamonds are tiny crystals only a few nanometers in size. While they possess the crystalline structure of diamonds, their properties diverge considerably from those of their big brothers, because their ...

Demystifying nanocrystal solar cells

Jan 28, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a comprehensive model to explain how electrons flow inside new types of solar cells made of tiny crystals. The model allows for a better understanding of such cells and may ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.