The nanostructures are extremely porous, like a sponge, allowing them to absorb large capacities of hydrogen until fully saturated. Experiments demonstrate that the hydrogen storage in graphite nanofibers is safe.
Another method of hydrogen storage derived from nanotechnology involves carbon nano-tubes. With carbon nanotubes, engineers arrange carbon platelets in different configurations. Research has shown the carbon nanotubes to display strong hydrogen storage capabilities.
The contribution of nanotechnology to hydrogen storage is timely, as automobile companies work to advance fuel cell technology amid growing public sentiments to develop alternative forms of energy. Despite the promise of nanotechnology in automobile fuel cells, additional research is required to refine graphite nanofibers and carbon nanotubes and to develop cost-effective means to manufacture the advanced structures.
The Nanotechnology Institute at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) strongly supports research in nanotechnology and is dedicated to narrowing the gap between theoretical science and real-world applications.
Among other programs, the institute organizes forums that bring together the technical community and general public to review developments in the field.
For more information, visit www.nano.asme.org.