June 25, 2009

Get your hydrogen...from chicken?

Scientists at the University of Delaware say they have developed a new hydrogen storage method that can hold vast amounts of hydrogen at a far lower cost than other hydrogen storage systems under consideration.

The researchers used chicken feather fibers, which they said are mostly composed of keratin, a natural protein that forms strong, hollow tubes. When heated, the protein strengthen its structure and becomes more porous, increasing its surface area. The net result is carbonized chicken feather fibers, which can absorb as much or perhaps more hydrogen than carbon nanotubes or metal hydrides, two other materials being studied for their hydrogen storage potential.

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