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Carbon Nano Tubes Can Make Hydrogen Fuel Possible

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 10/22/2009

Hydrogen would make for a marvelous fuel, if it weren't for a few problems that have to be surmounted to get there. One of those problems happens to be the "storage" problem. However, with a new discovery called Carbon Nano Tubes, it now seems to be a distinct possibility to do the same. Read on...

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    Nanotechnology to Make Hydrogen Fuel a Real Solution

    Hydrogen is being now thought of as the ultimate fuel that can actually save us from the dread that we have no fuel to run our economies with. However, while still being in experimental stages, Hydrogen as a fuel is plagued by certain bottlenecks at this point of time.

    The discovery of a new material though might actually pave the path for hydrogen to be used as a fuel as soon as possible. Researchers in Greece have recently reported the possibility of making a new material (it thankfully meets the standards laid by U.S. Department of Energy - DOE and its ambitious goal of finding solutions for Hydrogen’s storage (which happens to be one of the biggest problems facing the commercial usage of Hydrogen as a fuel).

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    Helping to Increase Storage Capacities

    CNT Hydrogen-powered vehicles can soon be plentiful on the roads if this material finds a way out as being reported. Hydrogen is an explosive gas and the storage of hydrogen for a wide-spread commercial use has always been a problem.

    Traditionally, Carbon Nano Tubes ( CNT) have always been researched to ascertain the possibility of storing hydrogen in fuel cell vehicles. The CNTs are miniature cylinder bars and are miraculously thinner than a single follicle of human hair by about 50,000 times. The coming generation of fuel cells might very well have a bevy of these CNTs storing hydrogen for us and removing the issue of storage space and complication for Hydrogen fuel.

    Computer Modeling has been employed to design a rather unique structure that consists of parallel Graphene sheets, which are nothing but layers of carbon just one atom thick and is stabilized by vertical columns of CNTs. The storage capability can be further increased by adding lithium-ions to the material’s design.

    This design is said to store about 41 grams of hydrogen per liter which his fairly adequate for transportation requirements and also meets the Department of energy requirements.