Development of a new hydrogen storage technology

Finding alternatives to fossil fuel has been a priority since the 70s. The use of hydrogen is one of them and forms the basis of research conducted by chemists at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton (UNBF) and HSM Systems, Inc.

While the development of storage systems is the subject of studies concerning the already existing hydrogen market, for the chemical industries in particular, these results could have a definite impact if they were accessible to everyday consumers.

Indeed, if a car can travel up to 600 km with a standard gasoline tank, it will only travel 20 km, at the same volume of hydrogen.

Dr. McGrady, a chemist at UNBF, is studying the possibility of replacing the large metal cylinders, over a meter long, usually used to store hydrogen, with a container of around 250 ml which would contain the same amount of gas.

To do this, the hydrogen would be infused into a light metal powder.

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The researcher is currently studying hybrid materials that would hold a
maximum of hydrogen atoms. In order to reduce the costs related to this method, he plans to create a reusable system, hydrogen being able to be stored again by the powder, once the gas released by a previous use.

Doctor McGrady hopes to start testing a first prototype within 12 to 18 months.

contacts:
- Sean McGrady, D.Phil., Department of Chemistry - University of New
Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 6E2, Canada - tel: +1 506 452 6340, fax: +1
506 453 4981 - email: smcgrady@unb.ca
Sources: http://www.unb.ca/news/view.cgi?id=721
Editor: Elodie Pinot, OTTAWA, sciefran@ambafrance-ca.org

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