Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery Is A Step Towards Pollution-free Cars

Date:
November 3, 2004
Source:
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Summary:
Scientists have made a world-first discovery which is a step towards using environmentally-friendly hydrogen to power our cars. A team from the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Liverpool in the UK, who report their findings in the prestigious academic journal, Science, have found a safe way of storing and releasing hydrogen to produce energy.

Scientists have made a world-first discovery which is a step towards using environmentally-friendly hydrogen to power our cars.

A team from the Universities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Liverpool in the UK, who report their findings in the prestigious academic journal, Science, have found a safe way of storing and releasing hydrogen to produce energy. They do this using nanoporous materials, which have tiny pores that are one hundred-thousandth (100,000th) the thickness of a sheet of paper.

Hydrogen has been investigated for a long time as a replacement for petrol, amid worries over the long-term availability of fossil fuels. It is also an environmentally-friendly alternative, as it produces only water rather than the 'greenhouse gas', carbon dioxide. However, scientists and others have been baffled for a long time about how to store the substance - which is a gas and so contains less energy in a given volume than the liquid petrol - safely and efficiently.

In his January 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative - "so that America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-powered automobiles." Hydrogen storage technology - the ability to carry enough hydrogen on-board a vehicle to enable 300-mile vehicle range - is critical to the success of the President's initiative. The UK Government is also very keen to exploit the hydrogen economy.

At the present time, no existing hydrogen storage technology meets the challenging performance required to make hydrogen-powered automobiles competitive with traditional vehicles. New and innovative ideas are needed.

The Liverpool and Newcastle researchers have found a workable method of injecting the gas at high pressure into the tiny pores - of ten to the minus nine metres in size - in specially-designed materials to give a dense form of hydrogen. They then reduce the pressure within the material in order to store the captured hydrogen safely. Heat can be applied to release the hydrogen as energy, on which a car could potentially run.

Professor Mark Thomas, of Newcastle University's Northern Carbon Research Laboratories in the School of Natural Sciences, a member of the research team, said:

"This is a proof of principle that we can trap hydrogen gas in a porous material and release it when required. However, if developed further, this method would have the potential to be applied to powering cars or any generator supplying power. Although hydrogen-powered cars are likely to be decades away, our discovery brings this concept a step towards becoming reality.

"Now that we have a mechanism that works, we can go on to design and build better porous framework materials for storing hydrogen, which may also be useful in industries that use gas separation techniques."

Professor Matt Rosseinsky, of the University of Liverpool's Department of Chemistry, said "Our new porous materials can capture hydrogen gas within their channels, like a molecular cat-flap.

"After allowing the hydrogen molecule - the 'cat' - in, the structure closes shut behind it. The important point is that the hydrogen is loaded into the materials at high pressure but stored in them at a much lower pressure - a unique behaviour. This basic scientific discovery may have significant ramifications for hydrogen storage and other technologies that rely on the controlled entrapment and release of small molecules."

The study was part-funded by the Carbon Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "Discovery Is A Step Towards Pollution-free Cars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030145144.htm>.
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. (2004, November 3). Discovery Is A Step Towards Pollution-free Cars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030145144.htm
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "Discovery Is A Step Towards Pollution-free Cars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041030145144.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins