New Compound to Make Hydrogen Transport Cheaper and Cooler”

Photo by Mehdi Mirzaie on Unsplash

Hydrogen is a clean energy source that has the potential to play a major role in the transition to a low-carbon future. However, its high cost and challenges in storage and transportation have limited its widespread adoption. To address these challenges, researchers have formed a new compound that streamlines hydrogen storage and transportation.

A team of researchers at Kyushu University in Japan, led by Professor Seiji Ogo, has developed a new compound that can store hydrogen energy at room temperature for up to three months. The method used a series of enzymes called hydrogenases to split hydrogen atoms into electrons and protons. These components can safely store hydrogen for later use.

According to the professor, the new compound can also act as a catalyst to extract hydrogen energy, previously impossible with other hydrogen energy carriers.

To make the compound cheaper, researchers used nickel. Unlike platinum and rhodium, nickel is relatively abundant and inexpensive, making it a cost-effective choice for hydrogen storage applications. Nickel was also used previously by Australian scientists to develop a cheaper way for large-scale hydrogen production.

The development of this new material is a significant step forward in the effort to transition to a hydrogen-based society. Hydrogen is a clean and sustainable energy source, but it is difficult to store and transport. The new material from Kyushu University addresses both of these challenges.

The researchers are now collaborating with the industrial sector to bring the new material to market. They are also working on improving the storage time and efficiency of the material and investigating the viability of using cheaper metals for such compounds.

The hydrogen economy is gaining momentum, with the potential to become the dominant energy source in transportation and fuel cell vehicles poised to surpass combustion engines and electric vehicles. 

If successful, the new compound from Kyushu University’s researchers could revolutionize how we store and transport hydrogen energy. This would enable us to move away from fossil fuels and towards a more sustainable future.

The research’s findings were published in the European journal Chemistry.

Ashton Henning

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