I find this story interesting for both the technological perspective and the political perspective. Let’s get the political perspective out of the way first. This is an article that has been circulated by the Associated Press.
It was picked up and published by Iran’s Tehran Times online newspaper. The article itself is about how a group of Israeli scientists have developed a method for storing hydrogen fuel using small glass filaments. I may be naïve, but in my mind this shows that scientific knowledge is not constrained by political boundaries.
Now, let’s move on to the technological perspective. A group of Israeli scientists working for C.En Ltd. in Geneva, Switzerland have developed a method to use glass filaments the size of a human hair to store H2.
According to the article, “These 370 glass capillaries are bundled into a glass tube called a capillary array, about the width of a drinking straw. The scientists say 11,000 such arrays will fuel a car for 400 kilometers (240 miles), take less than half the space and weight of tanks currently installed in the few hydrogen cars now available.”
One of the problems of using metal hydride tanks for storing hydrogen fuel has always been the weight. Adding weight to the vehicle not only wears down the vehicle more quickly but takes away from its power and range. Lighter tanks mean more power, range and less wear and tear on hydrogen cars.
Yesterday I talked about researchers using magnesium nanoparticles to store hydrogen and today its glass filaments. Just by the shear numbers of scientists and researchers attacking the hydrogen storage problem from different angles, we cannot help but to have a breakthrough in hydrogen tank technology sooner rather than later.