Scientific News Boron Nitride Graphene Mixture May Be Suitable For Next-Generation Green Cars
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Scientific community has long been fascinated by boron nitride due to its unique properties: sturdy, ultra-thin transparent, insulating and lightweight. The boron is a material that can be used by a wide range of researchers.
According to researchers at Rice University a graphene film separated by boron nanotube columns could be used as a material for storing fuel hydrogen in automobiles.
The Department of Energy is setting the standard for hydrogen fuel storage materials. A new computational study by materials scientist Rouzbeh Sharsavari of Rice Lab has determined that pillared Boron Nitride and graphene may be suitable candidates.
Shahsavari’s laboratory determined the elastic and columnar graphene structures by computer simulation, and then processed the boron nanotubes to create a mixture that simulates an unique three-dimensional structural design. (A sample of seamlessly bonded boron nanotubes to graphene is prepared.
As the pillars between the floors of a building provide space for people, so do the pillars within the graphene boron-nitride. The goal is to keep them inside and get out as necessary.
The researchers discovered that the latest simulations of molecular dynamics showed that pillared carbon nitride and graphene have a high surface area (about 2.547 square meters/square meter) as well as good recyclability in ambient conditions. Their model shows adding oxygen or lithium will improve the material's ability to combine with hydrogen.
They concentrated their simulations on the four variants of a pillared structural boron graphene, or a doped pillared boron graphene.
The best graphene at room temperature was oxygen-doped boron oxide graphene. This graphene weighs 11.6% (its weight) and 60 g/L.
The material's hydrogen weight was 14.77% in a cold temperature of -321 Fahrenheit.
The current US Department of Energy economic storage media goal is to store more hydrogen than 5.5% in weight and 40 grams of hydrogen per liter under moderate conditions. The ultimate target is 7.5% weight and 70 gram per liter.
Shahsavari explained that the hydrogen atoms adsorb on boron-nitride graphene without oxygen doping due to the weak van der Waals forces. When the material has been doped with oxygen the atoms bind tightly to the mixture. This produces a surface which is better for hydrogen.
"Oxygen and hydrogen are known to have a strong chemical affinity." "Oxygen, and hydrogen have been known to share a strong chemical affinity."
Shahsavari explained that the polarization characteristics of boron Nitride combined with graphene, and the electron mobilities of graphene themselves make the material highly adaptable in application.
Shahsavari explains that "we are looking for the best point" which is the perfect balance of surface area, weight and operating temperature as well as pressure. "This is only possible through computational modeling as we can test a lot of changes very quickly. In just a couple of days, the experimenter is able to finish the work that would normally take months.
He said these structures are strong enough to easily surpass the requirements of Department of Energy. The hydrogen fuel tank, for example, can withstand up to 1,500 charging and discharging cycles.
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