South Korean scientists have developed an enhanced material to contain hydrogen fuel that could significantly reduce the size of containers while holding more fuel, the government said Thursday.
The new material could help speed up the development of hydrogen-fuel cars while improving the efficiency and overall competitiveness of such vehicles, as it will help reduce the size of fuel tanks, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The ministry partly funded the research by a team from Insilicotech, a local materials development company.
Existing hydrogen containers use microporous materials, which have small pores that hold hydrogen and are about 0.321 nanometer in diameter.
The team successfully expanded the size of pores in the material to 0.8 nanometer by injecting pyridine molecules that work as pillars between layers of the porous material.
As a result, the density of hydrogen in the new pillared material rose to 61.7 grams per liter (g/L) from only 40 g/L in conventional materials, according to the ministry.
This nearly meets the performance standard for hydrogen fuel tanks in cars suggested by the U.S. Department of Energy, which is 70 g/L, it said.
“The outcome of this research greatly enhanced the study on hydrogen containers that can also be used as materials for fuel cell batteries,” Choi Seung-hoon, a lead researcher from Insilicotech, was quoted as saying.
A paper containing the result of the research, titled “Pillared Covalent Organic Frameworks with Balanced Volumetric and Gravimetric Hydrogen Uptake,” was published Jan. 12 by an international journal, the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. (Yonhap News)