Nav: Home

A new miniature solution for storing renewable energy

October 12, 2017

Scientists have long searched for the next generation of materials that can catalyze a revolution in renewable energy harvesting and storage.

One candidate appears to be metal-organic frameworks. Scientists have used these very small, flexible, ultra-thin, super-porous crystalline structures to do everything from capturing and converting carbon into fuels to storing hydrogen and other gases. Their biggest drawback has been their lack of conductivity.

Now, according to USC scientists, it turns out that metal-organic frameworks can conduct electricity in the same way metals do.

This opens the door for metal organic-frameworks to one day efficiently store renewable energy at a very large, almost unthinkable scale.

"For the first time ever, we have demonstrated a metal-organic framework that exhibits conductivity like that of a metal. The natural porosity of the metal-organic framework makes it ideal for reducing the mass of material, allowing for lighter, more compact devices" said Brent Melot, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.

"Metallic conductivity in tandem with other catalytic properties would add to its potential for renewable energy production and storage" said Smaranda Marinescu, assistant professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College.

Their findings were published July 13 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

An emerging catalyst for long-term renewable energy storage

Metal-organic frameworks are so porous that they are well-suited for absorbing and storing gases like hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Their storage is highly concentrated: 1 gram of surface area provides the equivalent of thousands of square feet in storage.

Solar has not yet been maximized as an energy source. The earth receives more energy from one hour of sunlight than is consumed in one year by the entire planet, but there is currently no way to use this energy because there is no way to conserve all of it. This intermittency is intrinsic to nearly all renewable power sources, making it impossible to harvest and store energy unless, say, the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

If scientists and industries could one day regularly reproduce the capability demonstrated by Marinescu, it would go a long way to reducing intermittency, allowing us to finally make solar energy an enduring and more permanent resource.

Metal or semiconductor: why not both?

Metal-organic frameworks are two-dimensional structures that contain cobalt, sulfur, and carbon atoms. In many ways, they very broadly resemble something like graphene, which is also a very thin layer of two-dimensional, transparent material.

As temperature goes down, metals become more conductive. Conversely, as the temperature goes up, it is semiconductors that become more conductive.

In the experiments run by Marinescu's group, they used a cobalt-based metal-organic framework that mimicked the conductivity of both a metal and semiconductor at different temperatures. The metal-organic framework designed by the scientists demonstrated its greatest conductivity at both very low and very high temperatures.
-end-
Research authors include corresponding authors and USC Dornsife assistant professors of chemistry Smaranda Marinescu and Brent Melot, lead author Andrew Clough, as well as Courtney Downes, Ashley de la Rosa, and Joseph Yoo of the Marinescu Group at the USC Dornsife College. Jonathan Skelton of the University of Bath and Aron Walsh of Imperial College London were also co-authors. This research was funded by the USC Dornsife College and Women in Science and Engineering, and by the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

University of Southern California

Related Hydrogen Articles:

Paving the way for hydrogen fuel cells
The hype around hydrogen fuel cells has died down, but scientists have continued to pursue new technologies that could enable such devices to gain a firmer foothold.
Keeping the hydrogen coming
A coating of molybdenum improves the efficiency of catalysts for producing hydrogen.
Hydrogen bonds directly detected for the first time
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope.
Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen
Hydrogen is both the simplest and the most-abundant element in the universe, so studying it can teach scientists about the essence of matter.
Metallic hydrogen, once theory, becomes reality
Nearly a century after it was theorized, Harvard scientists have succeeded in creating metallic hydrogen.
From theory to reality: The creation of metallic hydrogen
For more than 80 years, it has been predicted that hydrogen will adopt metallic properties under certain conditions, and now researchers have successfully demonstrated this phenomenon.
Artificial leaf goes more efficient for hydrogen generation
A new study, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has introduced a new artificial leaf that generates hydrogen, using the power of the Sun to mimic underwater photosynthesis.
Hydrogen from sunlight -- but as a dark reaction
The storage of photogenerated electric energy and its release on demand are still among the main obstacles in artificial photosynthesis.
New process produces hydrogen at much lower temperature
Waseda University researchers have developed a new method for producing hydrogen, which is fast, irreversible, and takes place at much lower temperature using less energy.
Hydrogen in your pocket? New plastic for carrying and storing hydrogen
A Waseda University research group has developed a polymer which can store hydrogen in a light, compact and flexible sheet, and is safe to touch even when filled with hydrogen gas.

Related Hydrogen Reading:

The Magic of Hydrogen Peroxide
by Emily Thacker (Author)

An Ounce of Hydrogen Peroxide is Worth a Pound of Cure Hydrogen peroxide is trusted by every hospital and emergency room in the country for its remarkable ability to kill deadly germs like E. coli and the swine flu virus. In fact, it has attracted so much interest from doctors that over 6000 articles about it have appeared in scientific publications around the world. Research has discovered that hydrogen peroxide enables your immune system to function properly and fight infection and disease. Doctors have found it can shrink tumors and treat allergies, Alzheimer’s, asthma, clogged arteries,... View Details


Hydrogen: The Essential Element
by John S. Rigden (Author)

Seduced by simplicity, physicists find themselves endlessly fascinated by hydrogen, the simplest of atoms. Hydrogen has shocked, it has surprised, it has embarrassed, it has humbled--and again and again it has guided physicists to the edge of new vistas where the promise of basic understanding and momentous insights beckoned. The allure of hydrogen, crucial to life and critical to scientific discovery, is at the center of this book, which tells a story that begins with the big bang and continues to unfold today.

In this biography of hydrogen, John Rigden shows how this singular atom,... View Details


The Hydrogen Sonata (Culture)
by Iain M. Banks (Author)

The New York Times bestselling Culture novel...
The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, provably, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they've made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost... View Details


2014 True Power of Hydrogen Peroxide, Miracle Path To Wellness - Mary Wright, goes beyond One Minute Cure
by Mary Wright (Author)

The 2014 Publication the True Power of Hydrogen Peroxide, Miracle Path To Wellness (Retail $27.95) is an extraordinary book unlike any prior book on the topic of Hydrogen Peroxide therapy and oxygenation. Well documented but also easy to read, the author gives step-by-step instructions and guidelines to personalize your health and wellness protocol specifically for you for internal and extra body health and wellness, plus the many ways to use hydrogen peroxide in your life. It also warns of ways not to use hydrogen peroxide, something you do not find in other books. Yet the book does not stop... View Details


Build A Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell System
by Phillip Hurley (Author)

Learn how to construct and operate the components of a solar hydrogen fuel cell system: the fuel cell stack, the electrolyzer to generate hydrogen fuel, simple hydrogen storage, and solar panels designed specifically to run electrolyzers for hydrogen production. Complete, clear, illustrated instructions to build all the major components make it easy for the non-engineer to understand and work with this important new technology.

Featured are the author's innovative and practical designs for efficient solar powered hydrogen production including:

ESPMs (Electrolyzer Specific... View Details


Hydrogen Peroxide and Aloe Vera Plus Other Home Remedies
by Conrad LeBeau (Author), Conrad LeBeau (Editor)

Home remedies using hydrogen peroxide, testimonials, case reports and clinical research on preventing and treating over 50 health conditions. Discusses the use of hydrogen peroxide, ozone, castor oil, raw honey, aloe vera, blackstrap molasses, coral calcium, grapefruit seeds, limewater, milk of magnesia, birch water, flaxseed oil, brazil nuts, garlic, oregano, cayenne, wakame and lemons. Includes low cost, non-toxic treatment options for cancer and a chapter on 10 ways to treat infections at home. View Details


Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
by Richard Rhodes (Author)

Here, for the first time, in a brilliant, panoramic portrait by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, is the definitive, often shocking story of the politics and the science behind the development of the hydrogen bomb and the birth of the Cold War.

Based on secret files in the United States and the former Soviet Union, this monumental work of history discloses how and why the United States decided to create the bomb that would dominate world politics for more than forty years. View Details


Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport, and Storage
by Ram B. Gupta (Editor)

From Methane to Hydrogen―Making the Switch to a Cleaner Fuel Source

The world’s overdependence on fossil fuels has created environmental problems, such as air pollution and global warming, as well as political and economic unrest. With water as its only by-product and its availability in all parts of the world, hydrogen promises to be the next great fuel source.

All of the Key Aspects of Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport, and Storage describes various aspects of hydrogen fuel, including production from both renewable and... View Details


True Power of Hydrogen Peroxide: Miracle Path to Wellness
by Mary Wright (Author)

Very informative book on the many healthy uses of FOOD GRADE hydrogen peroxide. Including cures and alleviation of many medical conditions. Researched and updated edition. Book package has opened but not been read. Like new. View Details


Hydrogen Peroxide: Medical Miracle
by William Campbell Douglass II (Author)

'Less is more' when it comes to the small molecule hydrogen peroxide - H2O2 - and the role it plays in maintaining health and fighting diseases. Discover how the miraculous healing agent works, why it's a 'natural' and 'bio-identical' substance, and it's multiple medical applications. View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Manipulation
We think we're the ones who control what we see, read, think and remember. But is that true? Who decides? And who should decide? This hour, TED speakers reveal just how easily we can be manipulated. Guests include design ethicist Tristan Harris, MSNBC host Ali Velshi, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, and neuroscientist Steve Ramirez.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#443 Batteries
This week on Science for the People we take a deep dive into modern batteries: how they work now and how they might work in the future. We speak with Gerbrand Ceder from UC Berkeley, about the most commonly used batteries today, how they work, and how they could work better. And we talk with Kathryn Toghill, electrochemist from Lancaster University, about redox flow batteries and how they could help make our power grids more sustainable.