UPDATE! – Most scientists have dismissed the possibility of running cars on hydrogen, even though it would be the ideal fuel, because of the difficulty of storing hydrogen, due to the small size of the molecule and the need for extremely low temperatures. But now a room temperature storage material has been invented that could revolutionize the lagging fuel cell industry and jump start the move to the use of hydrogen not only in automobiles, but in fuel cell applications of all kinds. Even home heating and power generation will fuel cells becomes a possibility. Keep reading for update.

Scientists at the University of Virginia have discovered a new class of hydrogen storage materials that could make the storage and transportation of energy much more efficient?and affordable?through higher-performing hydrogen fuel cells. Researcher Bellave S. Shivaram says, “These materials are the next generation in hydrogen fuel storage materials, unlike any others we have seen before. They have passed every litmus test that we have performed, and we believe they have the potential to have a large impact.”

Researcher and Adam B. Phillips says, “In terms of hydrogen absorption, these materials could prove a world record. Most materials today absorb only 7 to 8% of hydrogen by weight, and only at extremely low temperatures. Our materials absorb hydrogen up to 14% by weight at room temperature. By absorbing twice as much hydrogen, the new materials could help make the dream of a hydrogen economy come true.”

UPDATE: As well as a material to CONTAIN hydrogen fuel, there have also been major breakthroughs in the PRODUCTION of hydrogen. Researchers Shaoan Cheng and Bruce Logan, of Penn State University, have developed a method to produce hydrogen from ANY kind of biodegradable material (basically a glorified version of a compost pile). To read update report, click here.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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