Molecular Framework Sucks Up Hydrogen

University of Nottingham researchers have identified a framework of materials that combine copper with molecular chains of benzene rings, each carrying four carboxylic acid groups. At pressures of 20 bar, the materials could store up to 6.07 per cent by weight of hydrogen.

Published: 08-Sep-2006

A new material that absorbs significant amounts of hydrogen has been reported by UK chemists. 

Safe, efficient storage of hydrogen gas is one of the key technological hurdles in the quest to develop vehicles that can be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has set a storage target for such materials that requires them to hold at least 6.5 per cent of their own weight in hydrogen gas. But developing these materials before the DOE’s deadline of 2010 is proving to be a tremendous challenge for materials scientists.

There are many different types of candidate materials that are capable of storing hydrogen molecules, and one of the most promising is a class of substances known as coordination frameworks: three-dimensional crystalline networks held together by multiple bonds between charged metal ions and carbon-based ligands. 

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