Metal Alloy Could Make Hydrogen Storage in Cars 60% Lighter Than Batteries

One of the problems with developing a commercially workable system of using hydrogen as a transportation fuel is the fact that tanks that safely and securely store the hydrogen are generally so heavy as to be cumbersome in the vehicle. Well, Robin Gremaud, a Dutch-sponsored researcher, has found that an alloy of magnesium, titanium and nickel solves this problem by readily absorbing the hydrogen. A tank built of this material could also be up to 60% lighter than the amount of batteries required to power a car for a similar distance traveled.

Gremaud compared the weight required to power a car for a 400 km journey using batteries and a hydrogen storage tank made of this alloy,

200 Kilogram Hydrogen Tank or 317 Kilos of Batteries

Driving four hundred kilometres with an electric car, such as the Toyota Prius, would require the car to carry 317 kilos of modern lithium batteries for its journey. With Gremaud's light metal alloy this same distance would require a hydrogen tank of 'only' two hundred kilos. Although this new metal alloy is important for the development of hydrogen as a fuel, the discovery of the holy grail of hydrogen storage is still some way off. (Science Codex)

More on how Gremaud came to discover the hydrogen absorbing properties of this alloy: Hydrogen tank lighter than battery. Or, if you read Dutch, check out the original source: NWO. [via treehugger]

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