Toward hydrogen-powered cars: U-M gets $1.2M grant

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University of Michigan researchers exploring some-more fit materials for hydrogen fuel cells aim to besiege and rise “best-in-class” hydrogen storage technology.

Metal-organic frameworks, done of steel ions and organic particles, act as sponges that constraint and store gases. They could be used in destiny hydrogen-powered cars. Image credit: Don Siegel

Metal-organic frameworks, done of steel ions and organic particles, act as sponges that constraint and store gases. They could be used in destiny hydrogen-powered cars. Image credit: Don Siegel

The multidisciplinary organisation has been awarded a $1.2 million Department of Energy extend for a project, that investigates synthetic compounds called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs.

Finding MOFs that can store hydrogen during high densities could eventually pave a approach for a market-ready hydrogen powered-vehicle. Such a car’s usually glimmer would be water.

The right MOF, in unison with many other investigate innovations, would make a hydrogen-powered vehicle’s user knowledge identical to a traditionally powered one. Drivers would be means to revisit a hire and siphon hydrogen into an MOF-filled tank; when a motorist hits a accelerator, hydrogen gas expelled from a tank would energy a fuel cell.

Achieving pushing ranges that are allied to today’s conventional, gasoline-powered vehicles is an critical goal.

The U-M team’s efforts to rise such road-ready materials began in 2012 with researchers from mixed disciplines: Mike Cafarella, partner highbrow of mechanism scholarship and engineering; Antek Wong-Foy, associate investigate scientist in chemistry; Don Siegel, partner highbrow of automatic engineering Don Siegel; and postdoctoral researcher Jacob Goldsmith.

Most famous MOFs are enclosed in a incomparable database of famous organic bright materials called a Cambridge Structure Database. The database contains some-more than 600,000 entries, many of that aren’t MOFs and aren’t applicable for hydrogen storage. So Goldsmith wrote a module that combed a database for MOFs with a best probable multiple of earnest characteristics for hydrogen storage.

Within about a year, Goldsmith’s routines identified about 4,000 MOFs, and a organisation began serve study a characteristics of any until only a handful of earnest MOFs remained. The exploratory investigate was instituted with a assist of a $40,000 seed extend from a U-M Energy Institute’s Partnerships for Innovation in Sustainable Energy Technology program. Additional support came from a DOE Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence, that has sponsored Siegel’s hydrogen-related investigate given 2009.

The subsequent proviso of a plan will be saved by a DOE Fuel Cell Technologies bureau and aims to harmonize and some-more totally impersonate a earnest MOFs identified earlier. The organisation aims to try MOFs that, during slightest on paper, could accommodate a DOE’s 2017 targets for hydrogen storage systems.

“We have identified engaging materials that in some cases have been totally ignored in a hunt for compounds that store gases,” Siegel said.

Source: University of Michigan