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Ceramic Materials Present Option for Hydrogen Storage

Posted on: 04/21/2014
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have created new ceramic materials that could be used to store hydrogen safely and efficiently. The team has created compounds made from mixtures of calcium hexaboride, strontium and barium hexaboride. They have also demonstrated that the compounds could be manufactured using a simple, low-cost manufacturing method known as combustion synthesis.

The resulting ceramics are essentially crystalline structures in a cage of boron. To store hydrogen, the researchers would swap the calcium, strontium and boron with hydrogen atoms within the cage.

Engineers mixed boron with metal nitrates and organic fuels, such as urea, in a box furnace at temperatures below 400 degrees Celsius, which is cooler than a commercial pizza oven. The nitrates and organic fuels ignite, generating heat that then drives the reaction without the need for an external source of power.

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