Indian origin scientist reveals new applications for carbon nanomaterials in hydrogen storage

March 13th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 13 (ANI): A scientist of Indian origin is part of an international research team, which has revealed new applications for carbon nanomaterials in hydrogen storage.

The scientist in question is Rajeev Ahuja from Uppsala University, US, who set out to understand the mechanism behind the catalytic effects of carbon nanomaterials.

Our energy-hungry world has become increasingly dependent on new methods to store and convert energy for new, environmentally friendly modes of transportation and electrical energy generation as well as for portable electronics.

Mobility the transport of people and goods is a socioeconomic reality that will surely increase in the coming years.

Hydrogen, which can be produced with little or no harmful emissions, has been projected as a long term solution for a secure energy future.

Research into safe and efficient means of hydrogen production, storage, and use is essential to make the hydrogen economy a reality.

Car manufactures are showing interest in using solid state hydrogen storage materials, e.g. NaAlH4, as new energy storage media.

The functional properties of these materials however have to be improved by catalysts.

The effect of earlier catalysts, e.g. Ti, has been difficult to explain. The current results give an unambiguous understanding of the mechanism at work in the new carbon nanomaterial catalysts.

The researchers set out to understand the mechanism behind the catalytic effects of carbon nanomaterials, specifically on the example of sodium alanate, which is a popular material for hydrogen storage studies.

Now that the catalytic capabilities of carbon nanomaterials have been demonstrated so clearly and the mechanism that makes this behaviour possible has been understood, we expect a strong impulse on putting this effect to use in practical applications, said Professor Rajeev Ahuja.

Certainly, our findings have the strongest impact in the field of hydrogen storage, but beyond that, the same mechanism that we revealed can make carbon nanomaterials a very important catalyst in many other systems as well, he added.

Experimental and theoretical efforts were combined in a synergistic approach and the results will fasten efforts to develop new catalysts. (ANI)

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