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June 18th, 2007
Carbon nanohorns for the storage of hydrogen
Hydrogen would be the ideal candidate to replace fossil fuels if only it wasn't so difficult to store it safely. Researchers at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) have discovered a storage solution which is both efficient and cheap: carbon nanohorns. With such structures, the hydrogen-carbon bond is far more stable than with nanotubes. This study removes the obstacles which prevented any possibility of carbon-based nanomaterials finding industrial applications.
Hydrogen, which is the most abundant element in the Universe, is a renewable energy source which could replace fossil fuels. It is non-polluting: the only by-product during its extraction is water. However, the fact that it is difficult to store both safely and cheaply has until now meant that its use has remained marginal.
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