Carbon-nanostructured materials for energy generation and storage applications

P. Ndungu, A. Nechaev, L. Khotseng, N. Onyegebule, W. Davids, R. Mohammed, G. Vaivars, V. Linkov
2010 South African Journal of Science  
Introduction An area of research that may produce a viable replacement to fossil fuels is the use of hydrogen. Compared to fossil fuels, hydrogen has a higher energy density (142 MJ kg -1 versus an average 42 MJ kg -1 ) and, when used in a simple combustion system with lean air mixtures, water is the only byproduct. 1 When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, the overall efficiency can be upwards of 50% compared to 25% in a simple combustion system. 1 When the hydrogen is produced from a
more » ... rbon source it has no polluting effects. 1 Systems that utilise, store and produce hydrogen are key to implementing a future hydrogen-based economy. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the most versatile materials in current nanotechnological research. In the field of energy generation and storage, which includes research in solar cells, fuel cells and batteries (specifically lithium-ion), CNTs have shown a marked improvement over conventional systems. 2 In addition, there are several reports of CNTs utilised in a variety of disciplines, including biomedicine, 3 polymer science, 2 catalysis, 4 chemical and biological analytical sciences, as well as nanoelectronic device applications. [2] [3] [4] We synthesised nanostructured materials, elucidated their structure, and studied their properties and applications. This paper summarises our past and ongoing efforts in the use of CNTs in hydrogen-based energy systems.
doi:10.4102/sajs.v105i7/8.52 fatcat:ximg7zx2bzdhjksmqgmlyhdeke