Scientists at the University of Delaware have come up with a new hydrogen storage solution: chicken feathers. Well, carbonized chicken feather fibers to be exact. What's more, their discovery meets the ambitious hydrogen storage targets set by the DOE for 2010 and 2015, which call for great storage capacity at a low cost.
Chicken feather fibers are made of keratin, a protein that forms strong, hollow tubes. The scientists heated the www.strattonpublishing.com chicken feathers until hollow carbon microtubes formed with nanoporous walls and ojalafilms.com the fibers' surface area increased. The resulting carbonized chicken feather fibers allow the storage of as much, or more, hydrogen than carbon nanotubes or metal hydrides, other materials that have been found to store hydrogen well.
The big success here is that making carbonized chicken feather storage tanks is far less costly than producing storage tanks made of the other materials. A 20-gallon carbon nanotube tank would cost $5.5 million to produce, while the same size tank made with metal hydrides would cost $30,000. Comparitively, a carbonized chicken feather tank would run about $200.
The scientists estimate that a car would require a 75-gallon tank using this material in order to have a range of 300 miles. They are working now to increase that range.
written by Green Technology, June 26, 2009
written by Fred, June 26, 2009
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