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Berkeley Lab scientists create nanocrystal hydrogen storage matrix, could make for H2 batteries

Tim Stevens

If you could run your celly on hydrogen you'd have power for days and days -- but, you'd also need to lug around a high-pressure tank to store the stuff. That's no fun, and that's why we're still using Li-ion batteries and the like. But, scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory look to have found a way to possibly ditch the tank, creating a gas-barrier polymer matrix out of polymethyl methacrylate, allowing the H2 gas in but keeping oxygen and everything else out. That matrix contains magnesium nanocrystals that react with the hydrogen to form MgH2, enabling safe, (relatively) low-pressure storage. The H2 can then be released again and the magnesium nanocrystals are freed to bond with another batch of H2 when refilled. It sounds a little like the Cella Energy hydrogen storage solution, but a bit more promising if we're honest. Now for the long, painful wait for this to come to production.

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