Washington, June 8 : Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory have announced the development of a new material that they say may help make the current retail gasoline infrastructure compatible with hydrogen-based vehicles of the future, and help deal with global warming.
They reckon that their innovation may also deliver drugs and detect nuclear proliferation.
The researchers have named the new material Porous Wall-Hollow Glass Microspheres (PW-HGM).
Describing its features, they said that the material consists of porous glass 'microballoons', spheres of 2-100 micron, whose key characteristic is an interconnected porosity in their thin outer walls that can be produced and varied on a scale of 100 to 3,000 Angstroms.
SRNL Researchers G.G. Wicks, L.K. Heung, and R.F. Schumacher have revealed that they have been able to use such open channels to fill the microballoons with gas absorbents and other materials.
According to them, the pores may facilitate the entry of hydrogen or other reactive gases into the microspheres, creating a relatively safe, contained, solid-state storage system.
The researcher also say that the porosity of the microballoons can be altered and controlled in various ways that allow the spheres to filter mixed gas streams within a system.
The mechanical properties of the micro spheres can also be altered so as to make them flow like a liquid, which suggests that the PW-HGMs are suitable for reuse and recycling.