Going far

Published: Wednesday 30 April 1997

Researchers at Northeastern University of Boston, Massachusetts, us , have developed cartridges made of graphite nanofibres, which, they claim, can store 10 times more compressed hydrogen at room temperature than conventional tanks. They claim that these cartridges will enable hydrogen-powered cars to travel upto 8,000 km.

The nanofibres, which are made from stacks of graphite platelets that vary from five-10 mm in length and five-100 nanometres in diametre, have a closely packed structure. Several layers of hydrogen molecules get condensed inside the pores between the platelets by capillary action. The narrow pores stop oxygen and other larger molecules from squeezing in and this minimises the chance of an explosive reaction ( New Scientist , Vol 152, No 2061/62).

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.