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Jul 19, 2022

Mechanochemical breakthrough unlocks cheap, safe, powdered hydrogen

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, nanotechnology

Australian scientists say they’ve made a “eureka moment” breakthrough in gas separation and storage that could radically reduce energy use in the petrochemical industry, while making hydrogen much easier and safer to store and transport in a powder.

Nanotechnology researchers, based at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, claim to have found a super-efficient way to mechanochemically trap and hold gases in powders, with potentially enormous and wide-ranging industrial implications.

Mechanochemistry is a relatively recently coined term, referring to chemical reactions that are triggered by mechanical forces as opposed to heat, light, or electric potential differences. In this case, the mechanical force is supplied by ball milling – a low-energy grinding process in which a cylinder containing steel balls is rotated such that the balls roll up the side, then drop back down again, crushing and rolling over the material inside.

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