Research in Canada has discovered a way to keep hydrogen at room temperature, and so making it easier to store.
Until recently, advanced fuel engineers have only been able to store hydrogen as a gas in massive tanks or as a liquid in high-pressure tubes at temperatures as low as minus 273 degrees Celsius. Both of these methods are expensive and impractical, but could be about to change.
David Antonelli from the University of Windsor has made a breakthrough in hydrogen storage research and is attracting worldwide attention - particularly from car manufacturers. He has recently signed a contract with car firm Chrysler to $quot;optimize$quot; a cheap way of storing hydrogen in fuel tanks at room temperature.
He has discovered a way of storing hydrogen cheaply and safely in low-pressure tanks by using a mixture of non-perishable titanium oxide powder and silica, a main component in most types of glass.
The material he's created can store large quantities of hydrogen fuel within its porous structure. Antonelli's first breakthrough was the use of titanium oxide powder and he's since discovered a way to bind hydrogen to the surface of the titanium and silica mixture.
Antonelli's work caught the attention of Tarek Abdel-Baset, a Chrysler project engineer who has been working on fuel cell and hydrogen technologies for the past four years.
$quot;There is no material out there that's cheap enough and reliable enough that fits into a regular-size gas tank... So we're looking for that magic material... and we think that David Antonelli's on to something.$quot;