Cella Energy has a found a low-cost way to trap the hydride compound inside a nano-porous polymer micro bead. They say:
The hydrogen storage materials are stored at ambient temperatures and pressures, this means that the Cella Energy hydrogen storage materials can be packaged in a regular shaped fuel tank. They do not require the large heavy cylinders designed to withstand high pressures normally associated with hydrogen storage.
The micro-beads make hydride more efficient as a fuel, they help filter out the damaging chemicals and protect the hydrides from oxygen and water, so that they don't react and can be handled in air. The final product looks like white tissue paper or a powder.
And because the micro-beads move as a fluid, they can be used in the following way:
as a way of storing and delivering hydrogen safely for use in an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell as a fuel additive to reduce the carbon emissions from a hydrocarbon fuel such as gasoline, diesel, JP-8, jet-fuel or kerosene "Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification," said Cella Energy CEO Stephen Voller in this article on Gizmag.
This kind of development could really upend gasoline economies. I'm curious to see where this innovation goes.
Photo: Juice Images/Corbis