I’ve heard it through the grapevine that carbon nanotubes, graphene and buckyballs are out and carbyne, calcium and hydrogen grapes are in. Rice University has stated that these older, vintage methods of storing hydrogen are out due to the fact they can only store H2 when it is too cold.
According to Rice University, “Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues found potential for efficient hydrogen storage and retrieval in a calcium-decorated carbyne lattice. The material would meet, and likely exceed, the target set by the Department of Energy for hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2015.
“Carbyne is considered an exotic material, but recent experiments show it can be synthesized and stabilized at room temperature, where the storage is mainly of interest. That’s important, Yakobson said, because other nanoscale materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and even buckyballs are effective for hydrogen storage only at conditions that are too cold.”
Strings of single carbon atoms are much thinner than carbon nanotubes and can be distributed in lattice formations interspersed with calcium atoms. The hydrogen atoms will cluster like grapes on a vine along this lattice structure loosely bound and easy to retrieve upon demand.
From theoretical research to production this idea may still be 3 to 5 years away. But, this is my pick for future technology to watch as this precursor “2 Buck Chuck” may one day fuel our cars based upon economically simulating nature.