Coconuts kernels could be the next solution for hydrogen cars

For a long time hydrogen has been mooted as the fuel of the future for our cars.

And yet a number of issues with it have so far prevented that future from becoming a reality.

Coconuts freedigitalphotos.net

One of the major issues with hydrogen is that it is difficult to store; because of its low boiling point of -252.8°C, it can’t be stored as a liquid without expensive chilled storage and as a gas, it requires huge pressurised tanks to hold it, which aren’t practical when fitted to cars.

But now scientists from Benaras Hindu University in India have come up with a novel solution; coconuts.

By extracting the carbon from coconut kernels, hydrogen can be absorbed and effectively stored within the carbon particles, until it is later needed.

Scientists have long been exploring the idea of using carbon to absorb hydrogen; but so far research has focused around more expensive carbon sources.

Unlike other sources of carbon used in previous research, carbon from coconut kernels is abundantly available and cheap to use.

According to a new paper published by the research team at the university’s Hydrogen Energy Centre: “It [coconut kernel] is not only abundantly found but is also cost-effective and can be converted into carbon easily. Unlike graphene,  carbon nano tubes (CNTs) and other type of carbons, the production of carbon from solid endosperm is not time taking [sic]”.

The research team, led by Professor Viney Dixit conclude that carbon derived coconuts offer a high absorbency rate and could make a promising solution for effective hydrogen storage.

While research continues, who knows in the future, we could be running hydrogen fuel cell cars which make use of coconuts as part of their storage systems.

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