Chemists Find New Potential for Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen can potentially serve as a clean, environmentally friendly energy carrier, but fundamental concerns remain: How do you store large amounts of the molecule safely and at a reasonable cost?

NYU chemists, led by professor Zlatko Bacic, and their colleagues have made some strides with these two issues. Using sophisticated theoretical methods, they have obtained the most accurate picture to date of the behavior of the hydrogen molecule when it is adsorbed in a metal organic framework (MOF), which has previously shown promise as a candidate for hydrogen storage. Their insights will be helpful for designing novel MOFs and other materials with improved hydrogen storage performance.

The rendering illustrates the interaction potential, ranging from deep (blue) to shallow (red) regions, experienced by the hydrogen molecule as it rotates while its center remains fixed at one binding site of the MOF.

The project also included scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of South Florida, Berlin’s Humboldt University, and the University of California, San Diego. The research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

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