Enhancement in hydrogen storage in carbon nanotubes under modified conditions

S Banerjee and IK Puri, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 19, 155702 (2008).

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/19/15/155702

We investigate the hydrogen adsorbing characteristics of single-walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) through fundamental molecular dynamics simulations that characterize the role of ambient pressure and temperature, the presence of surface charges on the CNTs, inclusion of metal ion interconnects, and nanocapillary effects. While the literature suggests that hydrogen spillover due to the presence of metallic contaminants enhances storage on and inside the nanotubes, we find this to be significant for alkali and not transition metals. Charging the CNT surfaces does not significantly enhance hydrogen storage. We find that the bulk of the hydrogen storage occurs inside CNTs due to their nanocapillarity effect. Storage is much more dependent on external thermodynamic conditions such as the temperature and the pressure than on these facets of the CNT structure. The dependence of storage on the external thermodynamic conditions is analyzed and the optimal range of operating conditions is identified.

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