Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
- Category: Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
30 Jun 2009
- Published on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 09:08
- Hits (1895)
Scientists at the University of Delaware have developed a hydrogen storage method using chicken feathers. According to the scientists, carbonized chicken feather fibers can hold vast amounts of hydrogen and do it at a far lower cost than other methods currently available.
Chicken feather fibers are mostly composed of keratin, a natural protein that forms strong, hollow tubes. When heated, keratin forms crosslinks that strengthen its structure and it becomes more porous, thereby increasing its surface area. As a result, it can absorb as much as or perhaps more hydrogen than conventional carbon nanotubes or metal hydrides.
The use of carbonized chicken feathers would only add about $200 to the price of a car. By comparison, making a 20-gallon hydrogen fuel tank that uses carbon nanotubes could cost $5.5 million, while one that uses metal hydrides could cost up to $30,000.
“Carbonized chicken feather fibers have the potential to dramatically improve upon existing methods of hydrogen storage and perhaps pave the way for the practical development of a truly hydrogen-based energy economy,” says Richard P. Wool, professor of chemical engineering and director of the University's Affordable Composites from Renewable Resources (ACRES) program.
- Katrice R. Jalbuena