How do we safely store hydrogen?

20 June 2010

Question

A team of researchers from the University of Crete led by George Froudakis has designed a sponge-like material made of layers of one atom-thick graphene separated by carbon nanotubes 1.2-nanometers tall. The material contains positively-charged lithium ions that further strengthen the material's hold on the hydrogen. This sponge-like graphene material can hold, at room pressure and temperature, 6.1 percent of its total weight in hydrogen. Could you explain more please?

Thanks, Kyle

Answer

We discussed this with Stephen Bennington, from ISIS at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory... Chris: - Is this similar to the work you do Stephen?

Stephen: - Well we do work on what they call 'intercalated graphites' which is graphites which contain metals in between their layers, and the reason for doing that is that the metals charge up the layers of the graphite, and that means that the hydrogen sticks to it more readily. So this theoretical work by these Greek people was very interesting because it also spaces the layers of the graphite at the perfect distance to stick hydrogen in the middle. It's only theoretical. Chris: - They give you a massive surface area. Stephen: - Big surface area, yes.

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