In the past I’ve talked about MOF structures (Metal Organic Frameworks) being developed to store hydrogen fuel. These structures discovered by scientists at Northwestern University use a framework of nickel, zinc, copper or cobalt plus sugar and salt to bind hydrogen inside its porous structure.
Now, researchers at Rice University have a different take on building MOF structures in order to store hydrogen fuel. They are using boron and carbon plus the metals scandium and titanium to loosely hold hydrogen in place which can be dislodged either by adding a little heat or lowering pressure slightly.
According to Rice, “A matrix made of metallacarboranes would theoretically hold up to 8.8 percent of its weight in hydrogen atoms, which would at least meet and perhaps surpass DOE milestones issued a year ago for cars that would run on hydrogen fuel.”
If MOF structures as describe by the Rice and Northwestern Scientists can be scaled up to use in hydrogen fuel tanks, this would mean the tanks would be lighter than metal hydride tanks (increasing mileage) and under less pressure than other tanks that hold hydrogen fuel in pressures of up to 10,000 psi.