Chemical Engineers at the Department of Energy and Geoenvironmental Engineering at Pennsylovania State University have discovered a new way to produce and store hydrogen. They had managed to store hydrogen in graphite and decided to try to store it in coal. They put some coal in a mill, put in some steel balls and added some cyclohexene as a lubricant. The mill was spun rapidly until the coal was reduced to a powder. The powder was then put into a analyzer that would release any contaminating gases before they added the hydrogen. To their surprise they noticed that the coal was giving off hydrogen. They then examined the milled coal under an electron microscope and found bits of diamond—hydrogen helps carbon turn into diamond at low pressures. Apparently the cyclohexene had changed chemically under pressure and given off hydrogen. The coal then trapped the hydrogen.
This discovery could possibly solve our energy problems. The process not only produces hydrogen cheaply but also stores it safely. Also, transporting it in coal would be inexpensive, easy and safe.—Source: ScienceNOW Daily News