Carbon honeycomb is a new carbon structure, which the researchers describe as three-dimensional graphene. It could store large amounts of hydrogen gas, what could benefit hydrogen economy.
Carbon can form diamond, nanotubes, or the nanoscale spheres called fullerenes, as well as several other structures. Now a team of Nina V. Krainyukova and Evgeniy N. Zubarev of Ukraine’s National Academy of Sciences and National Technical University, both in Kharkiv, Ukraine, has produced what they call carbon honeycomb, a structure that appears to have a huge gas-storage capacity. By slightly altering a common fabrication method, the researchers created what appears to be a 3D honeycomb built from the carbon sheets known as graphene.
This new structure has a repeating pattern of flat graphene sheets bound on edge into hexagons to form a “carbon honeycomb,” as the researchers call it. The open hexagonal channels in the honeycomb are key to its high absorbency, and the team says that the size of these channels could be adapted to fit many different atoms or molecules, including hydrogen gas with an estimated capacity of 8% by mass. This is very impressive result, considering that the US Department of Energy has challenged scientists to develop a system that can store more than 5.5% of its total mass.
Therefore, this new material might be used as a light, energy-efficient fuel storage container for hydrogen fuel cells.