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Nanocomposite for hydrogen storage

Hydrogen has been repotted as a fuel of future and a promising alternative to fossil fuels due to its clean combustion producing only water as by-product unlike hydrocarbon-based fuels, which emit greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants. The problem is hydrogen must be stored safely and densely and this conflicting requirement makes hydrogen storage technology to lag behind other clean energy fuels.
Hydrogen storage
Researchers have tackled both safe and dense storage issues by locking hydrogen into solids, packing larger quantities into smaller volumes with low reactivity and stability. However, most of these solids can only absorb a small amount of hydrogen and require extreme heating or cooling to boost their overall energy efficiency.
Scientists of Department of Energy (DOE) have developed a composite material for hydrogen storage consisting of nanoparticles of magnesium metal sprinkled through a matrix of polymethyl methacrylate, a polymer related to Plexiglas. This pliable nanocomposite rapidly absorbs and releases hydrogen at modest temperatures without oxidizing the metal after cycling. This is a major breakthrough in materials design for hydrogen storage devices, batteries and fuel cells. This development overcomes fundamental thermodynamic and kinetic barriers to realize composite nanoscale materials which were not possible earlier.

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