Another promising new discovery has been made by scientists in Cardiff exploring the safe storage of hydrogen as an environmentally friendly alternative to petrol, after professors from the School of Chemistry and 2 other universities reported the creation of an organic polymer capable of storing around 3 percent hydrogen by weight.

The figure is almost double the amount of hydrogen the group's preliminary polymers could store last year, offering hope of producing an organic polymer in the future capable of storing enough hydrogen to successfully power a vehicle.

Professor Neil McKeown, of the School of Chemistry, commented, $quot;We are excited to report this recent discovery by our research team, of a polymer which can hold around 3 percent hydrogen by weight. Although we still have a long way to go, it is clear that we are moving in the right direction, especially as we also have a number of promising new polymers to test.$quot;

$quot;In order to obtain a polymer that can store useful quantities of hydrogen, we need to make a much more porous material, but one in which the holes are very small so as to fit snugly the small hydrogen molecules,$quot; Mckeown added.

Professor McKeown and his team are investigating a number of promising methods to enhance pororosity as they attempt to build on their current success and produce a material that can store and release hydrogen safely and effectively.

Estimates by the US Department of Energy conclude that a material which can store hydrogen at a weight of 6 percent or more is required to make hydrogen a viable alternative to petrol.

Cardiff is the lead University in the research project, which is funded by the engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.