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Researchers have revealed a new single-stage method for recharging the hydrogen storage compound ammonia borane. The breakthrough makes hydrogen a more attractive fuel for vehicles and other transportation modes.
In an article appearing in the March 18 edition of Science magazine, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and University of Alabama researchers working within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence describe a significant advance in hydrogen storage science.
Hydrogen is in many ways an ideal fuel. It possesses a high energy content per unit mass when compared to petroleum, and it can be used to run a fuel cell, which in turn can be used to power a very clean engine. On the down side, H2 has a low energy content per unit volume versus petroleum (it is very light and bulky). The crux of the hydrogen issue has been how to get enough of the element on board a vehicle to power it a reasonable distance.
And what is the significance of the breakthrough?
“It’s probably to be determined,” said LANL’s Andrew Sutton, who headed the project and has worked at the lab for four years. “It raises the potential ability of recharging the hydrogen storage compound ammonia borane.”
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