Development of a new hydrogen storage technology

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

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

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

Doctor McGrady, chemist at UNBF, is studying the possibility of replacing the large metal cylinders, more than a meter long, usually used to store hydrogen, by a container of the order of 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 hydrogen atoms. In order to reduce the costs associated with this method, he plans to create a reusable system, hydrogen that can 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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