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Number of researchers have a hawk’s eye on alternative energy sources which have proved themselves more superior to the conventional fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal that contain carbon and eventually contribute to global warming.

However researchers have their sight set in particular on hydrogen as it known to be one of the most plentiful available elements in universe and also it is clean, non-toxic and mainly eco-friendly. Possessions of these properties make people see it as an ideal energy carrier but it has always been tough to discover materials that can resourcefully and safely store and discharge it with fast kinetics under ambient temperature and pressure.

Research team from Virginia Commonwealth University; Peking University on Beijing and also the Chinese Academy of Science in Shanghai have built-up a process utilizing electric field that can considerably advance in storage of hydrogen fuel and also tackle its discharging issue.

  “Using an external electric field as another variable in our search for such a material will bring a hydrogen economy closer to reality” stated renowned professor of VCU Department of Physics, Puru Jena, Ph.D. He also said “This is a paradigm shift in the approach to store hydrogen. So far, the efforts have been on how to modify the composition of the storage material. Here we show that an applied electric field can do the same thing as doped metal ions.” He also added, "More importantly, it avoids many problems associated with doping metal ions such as clustering of metal atoms, poisoning of metal ions by other gases, and a complicated synthesis process. In addition, once the electric field is removed, hydrogen desorbs, making the process reversible with fast kinetics under ambient conditions."

 The research is supported by grants from the Foundation of National Laboratory for Infrared Physics, National Natural Science Foundation of China, the National Grand Fundamental Research 973 Program of China and the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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