PHOTO CAPTION: To achieve 400+ miles of range, the Toyota Highlander FCHV-adv uses gaseous hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi.

Will Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Make A Comeback?

Glass hydrogen storage could solve one of the major challenges still confronting fuel cell vehicles.

Published: 25-Apr-2010

Hydrogen, one of Earth's most abundant elements, once was seen as green energy's answer to the petroleum-driven car: easy to produce, available everywhere and nonpolluting when burned.

Hydrogen energy was defeated by a mountain of obstacles - the fear of explosion by the highly flammable gas, the difficulty of carrying the fuel in large, heavy tanks in the vehicle, and the lack of a refueling network. Automakers turned to biofuels, electricity or the gas-electric hybrid.
But hydrogen, it turns out, never was completely out of the race.

Now Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs claim to have brought hydrogen energy a step closer by putting it in much smaller, lighter containers. Rather than using metal or composite cylinders of compressed gas that look like bulky scuba gear, hydrogen is packed into glass filaments which, once out of the lab, will be only slightly thicker than a human hair.


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