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June 26, 2009

Could chicken feathers hold the key to effective hydrogen storage?

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Filed under : Enviornment News

It’s no secret that a ton of problems need to be overcome before there’s any real chance we’ll all be driving clean-emissions hydrogen-powered cars and trucks. One such problem is how to store the hydrogen, which is a much less energy-dense fuel than gasoline. Researchers at the University of Delaware believe they may have found a possible solution from an extremely unlikely source: chicken feathers.

It seems that chicken feathers take on a unique set of properties when carbonized (slowly heated to 400-degrees Fahrenheit) that makes them dense and highly porous. When packed into a storage tank, these carbonized chicken feathers can greatly increase the amount of hydrogen that can be crammed inside.

Currently, researchers can store enough hydrogen in the carbonized feathers to provide an 80-mile range from a 20-gallon storage tank, but they’re working to improve that figure. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of available feathers – the U.S. poultry industry reportedly disposes of 2 billion pounds of chicken feathers per year.

[Source: Green Car Advisor]

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Could chicken feathers hold the key to effective hydrogen storage? originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 26 Jun 2009 11:53:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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