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Super-Activated Carbon Materials for Hydrogen Storage

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Disclosure Number

  • 3590


  • T.C. (Mike) Chung  Website
  • Youmi Jeong

Patent Status

  • Provisional Application

For Licensing Information

Bradley Swope
Sr. Technology Licensing Officer
Office of Technology Management
Phone: 814-863-5987
Fax: 814-865-3591

a new class of super-activated carbon materials that show enhanced hydrogen physisorption


Development of onboard hydrogen storage technology is a major challenge in realizing hydrogen-fueled vehicles, which is strategically important in minimizing our dependence on fossil fuels and reducing green house gas emissions. Unfortunately, current hydrogen storage methods, including compressed gas, cryogenic liquid, metal hydrides, chemical hydrides, and adsorbents, all show significant deficiencies and limitations in practical applications. Among these hydrogen storage options, physisorption would be an ideal method if the adsorbent material could show sufficient adsorption capacity at ambient temperature and low pressure, and perform fast adsorption-desorption under convenient conditions. However, this approach also faces major challenges ranging from weak binding energy, due to the intrinsic strength of van der Waals interactions, to demanding materials engineering of extremely large specific surface area (SSA). Thus a more suitable method of hydrogen physisorption is needed to improve hydrogen storage technology.


Invention Description

The invention relates to a new class of super-activated carbon materials that show enhanced hydrogen physisorption. In one embodiment, the invention discloses the structure and preparation of super-activated carbon material by a combination of substitutional atoms and well-dispersed metal elements or nanoparticles. In the other embodiment, the resulting super-activated carbon materials exhibit enhanced binding energy and adsorption capacity toward hydrogen molecules by physisorption mechanism under mild operating conditions. The chemical process (including scale-up) to prepare the disclosed super-activated carbon materials has been developed. Some applications, especially hydrogen storage, are also available for demonstration.


  • Enhanced binding and adsorption capacity toward hydrogen molecules by physisorption
  • Effective at ambient temperature and lower pressure, under convenient conditions