Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Sustainable Energy

Fiber in Your Tank

Clean-burning natural gas is an attractive alternative fuel. Unfortunately, methane (the main constituent of natural gas) is not as potent as gasoline; a practical natural-gas car therefore requires a tank that is either prohibitively large or that stores the gas at high pressure (a dangerous option).

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have patented a material that may solve this problem.

The material consists of carbon fibers a few micrometers in diameter and a few micrometers long, bonded into a block. Gas infiltrates the porous material and adsorbs to the surface of each fiber. A tank containing this material can hold six times as much methane as a conventional tank holds at the same pressure, says Rod Judkins, fossil energy program manager. Oak Ridge is seeking licensees.

AI and robotics are changing the future of work.  Learn from the humans leading the way at EmTech Next 2019.

Register now
More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print + All Access Digital.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

    The MIT Technology Review App

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.