Dr Andrew Weller from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath (UK)
December 7, 2006 Hydrogen-powered cars that do not pollute the environment are a step closer thanks to a new discovery which promises to solve the main problem holding back the technology. Whilst hydrogen is thought to be an ideal fuel for vehicles, producing only water on combustion, its widespread use has been limited by the lack of a safe, efficient system for onboard storage. Scientists have experimented with ways of storing hydrogen by locking the gas into metal lattices, but metal hydrides only work at temperatures above 300°C and metal organic framework materials only work at liquid nitrogen temperatures (-198°C). Now scientists at the University of Bath have invented a material which stores and releases hydrogen at room temperature, at the flick of a switch, and promises to help make hydrogen power a viable clean technology for the future.