14 Hydrogen Storage On Carbonized Chicken Feather Fibers

Tuesday, June 23, 2009: 10:55 AM
2101/2103/2105 (Marriott Inn and Conference Center University Of MD University College)
Erman Şenöz , Chemical Engineering Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Richard P. Wool , Chemical Engineering Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
The biggest obstacles to a hydrogen powered energy economy are the production and storage of hydrogen. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2010 and 2015 hydrogen storage targets are quite challenging in terms of gravimetric capacity (6 wt% and 9 wt% respectively), volumetric capacity (45 and 81 grams H2 per L) and storage cost ($4 and $2 per kWh respectively). In order to solve the H2 storage problem, various kinds of nano-structured materials have been investigated and produced, none of which could fulfill these targets entirely. Their disposal methods and degradability are still a big question mark. Additionally, the prices of these materials are extremely expensive. It is crucial that the material that will serve as a hydrogen adsorbent in fuel cell vehicles is cheap and is environmentally.

The goal of this project is to develop new low cost hydrogen storage substrates from a waste material (6 billion lbs/yr in U.S.) —chicken feathers. The results showed that carbonized chicken feathers (CCFF) have the potential to meet the DOE requirements for H2 storage and are competitive with carbon nanotubes and metal hydrides at a tiny fraction of the cost. When keratin based chicken feathers are heat treated by controlled pyrolysis, hollow carbon microtubes are formed with nanoporous walls. Their specific surface area increases up to 450 m2/g by the formation of fractals and micropores thus enabling more hydrogen adsorption than raw (untreated) feather fibers. Experimental hydrogen storage optimization results and surface characterization of CCFF by SEM, XPS and N2 adsorption will be demonstrated. Furthermore, recent findings on heat treatment of chicken feather fibers by thermal analysis techniques will be discussed in detail.