C.En (Clean Energy) of Israel has discovered a new way to store hydrogen that will aid in the acceleration of rolling out hydrogen cars en mass to the public. While other manufacturers are using heavy metals, carbon fiber or metal hydrides to store hydrogen gas, C.En has figured out a way to use glass to store the gas at high pressures and for ranges over 350 miles.
According to JewishJournal.com, “C.En’s tank uses hydrogen gas collected from the environment (i.e., not produced from fossil fuels) and enclosed in a thin but leak-proof glass container. The best part: Drivers will be able to buy ‘gas’ at automotive or discount stores, fueling up approximately every 370 miles.”
Think about this for a moment. With this new model of storing hydrogen gas, fueling will no longer be tied to hydrogen fueling stations that model the current gasoline station infrastructure. The key is that the new C.En hydrogen tanks are swappable and that one extra tank can be carried aboard the vehicle as a backup.
This means that similar to buying and swapping out propane tanks for a barbeque at local discount stores, gasoline stations or convenience stores, the same could be true for hydrogen canisters as well. Under this model, hydrogen can be produced in either a centralized or decentralized manner, packaged in reusable canisters and shipping to a wide variety of locations where consumers can return their empties and swap them out for full canisters.
Consumers may also wish to stockpile up on these tanks and store a few extra in their garages for future use. It’s this kind of outside-the-box thinking that will mean that future hydrogen fueling infrastructure does not have to look anything like the current gasoline fueling infrastructure. In the end, the consumer will win with scenario as they will have more choices on where to buy hydrogen, store it and swap it out as needed.