'Breakthrough' discovery in fuel cell technology

Sat 16 October 2004 View all news

A discovery in fuel cell technology could be highly significant in attempts to make a commercially viable vehicle powered by hydrogen, experts from the Universities of Newcastle and Liverpool have said.

Using nanoporous materials, which have tiny pores the thickness of a sheet of paper, experts have found a safe way of storing and releasing hydrogen to produce energy.

The study, partially funded by the Carbon Trust, helps get over one of the main problems that has been preventing the commercial progression of fuel cells - that is storing the hydrogen effectively, and being able to release it at the required rate.

Professor Matt Rosseinsky, a member of the team said: "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.

"The material works much like a cat flap, with the structure closing firmly shut behind the hydrogen molecule once it has entered one of the channels."

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