Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Hydrogen Headway

The Obama administration has turned away from fuel cells, but there's still promising research in the field.

By Sam KissingerJune 18, 2009 5:00 AM
Image: iStockphoto | NULL


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Researchers are making progress in producing and storing hydrogen that could power a new generation of fuel-cell cars, despite seesaw domestic funding from successive presidential administrations. An efficient new process from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel produces hydrogen using a reusable ruthenium-based compound. There, organometallic chemist David Milstein is working on accelerating the reactions and improving the compound.

Although hydrogen contains more energy than gasoline by weight, it takes up more space. A University of Michigan team is addressing that problem with a microporous material that could be used to store hydrogen. It has surface area of 5,000 square meters (almost as big as a football field) per gram, the largest ever achieved. Another storage option is metal hydrides, which chemically bond hydrogen to metals. These can be difficult to cool, so engineers from Purdue and General Motors recently developed a new system that uses standard engine coolant running over a finned tank.

See the recent 80beats article "The Super-Small, Open-Source, Ultracapacitor-Using Hydrogen Car."

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In