Rice University researchers believe that graphene separated from boron nanotube columns could make a good material to store hydrogen fuel in an automobile.
The Department of Energy set the bar for storage materials and made hydrogen practical for use in light-duty vehicles. Rouzbeh Shahsavari of Rice Lab, materials scientist, determined in a recent computational study that pillared graphene or boron Nitride might be an option.
Shahsavari has used computer modeling to determine the elastic and elastic columnar graphene shapes. Later, Shahsavari processed the boron nutride nanotubes into a mixture in order to create a unique 3-D structure. This is a sample of boron-nitride Nanotubes that have been seamlessly bonded with graphene.
As the pillars allow for space between the floors in a building, so too do the pillars inside the boron nutride graphene. Their challenge is getting them in, keeping enough, and then moving on as necessary.
Researchers found that graphene pillared or pillared with boron nuitride graphene has an extremely rich surface area of 2,547 square metres per square meter and excellent recyclability in ambient conditions. They found that hydrogen will be more effective when the materials are combined with oxygen and lithium.
Simulators focused on simulations of four variations: one pillared structure for boron nutride, or one pillared graphene for boron nanotride doped with lithium or oxygen.
At room temperature and ambient pressure oxygen-dopedboron nuitride graphene performed the best. The material weighed in at 11.6% and approximately 60 g/L, respectively. This makes it an easy opponent to porous and metal oxide skeletons, carbon nanotubes, and other competing technologies.
At -321 degrees Fahrenheit the hydrogen weight was 14.77%.
US Department of Energy currently targets economic storage media to contain more than 5.5% of weight and 40g per liter of hydrocarbon under mild conditions. Maximum goal 7.5% in weight, and 70 grams per Liter.
Shahsavari explained that the weak van der Waals force causes hydrogen atoms to be attracted on undoped, pillared Boron Nitride graphene. Doping the material with oxygen makes the atoms bind strongly to the mixture, creating a more porous surface for the incoming hydrogen. Shahsavari states that it may be possible to transport the hydrogen under pressure but can also be withdrawn once pressure has been released.
He stated that “Because it is a charge of nature and interacts with the other charges, we can add oxygen to the substrate which gives us a good connection.” The chemical affinity between hydrogen and oxygen is known.”
Shahsavari explained that the combination of graphene’s electron mobility and the polarization property of boron nutride makes the material extremely tunable for use in various applications.
Shahsavari states that “what we’re looking for” is the optimal point. This refers to the equilibrium between the surface area and the weight of the material as well as the operating temperature and pressure. Because we are able to test many variations quickly, computational modeling is the only way to do this. For the researcher to be able to do the job in a matter of days, it takes several months.
According to him, these structures need to be strong enough that they can easily surpass the Department of Energy’s requirements. For example, the hydrogen fuel tanks must withstand 1500 charges and discharge cycles.
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