Efficient Hydrogen Storage for Fuel Cell Systems



Invention Summary

Fast and effective hydrogen permeation through the wall of a glass or glass-ceramic micro sphere, eliminating the existing barriers for hydrogen diffusion. Hydrogen is stored and distributed using hollow glass micro spheres made of specific compositions with efficiencies greater than that of other methods. Fuel cells are different from batteries in that they consume the reactant, which must be replenished, while batteries store electrical energy chemically in a closed system. Additionally, while the electrodes within a battery react and change as a battery is charged or discharged, a fuel cell's electrodes are catalytic and relatively stable. Many combinations of fuel and oxidant are possible. A hydrogen cell uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as oxidant. Other fuels include hydrocarbons and alcohols. Other oxidants include air, chlorine and chlorine dioxide. In essence, a fuel cell works by catalysis, separating the component electrons and protons of the reactant fuel, and forcing the electrons to travel through a circuit, hence converting them to electrical power.


Market Opportunity

Hollow glass micro spheres are the most promising alternative to gas tank technology, providing the potential to store high density of molecular hydrogen, the freedom of shape for their container, low production costs as well as an inherently safe manner to store gaseous hydrogen on board of a vehicle. The most important problem concerning the practical application of glass microspheres as micro-containers for hydrogen is linked to the slow rates of hydrogen permeation through the walls of a glass sphere.


Features & Benefits

• Control the diffusion of molecular hydrogen (gas) in bulk glasses as well as hydrogen permeability of the wall of a hollow glass micro sphere.


• Exposure of a glass to light sources of selected wavelengths such as conventional UV light sources, as well as UV and VIS lasers and finally high-energy, near IR lasers, all operating in continuous or pulsed regime, induce ‘on demand’ density modulations of a glass network.


• The procedures cause alteration of bonds within the glass matrix, resulting in a lower glass network connectivity and thus higher ability of atomic displacements.


Intellectual Property        Patent No.: 8,663,429


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Zachary Miles
Associate Vice President for Economic Development
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Olivers Hemmers
Krystyna Lipinska-Kalita
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