From Slashdot: Chicken Feathers May Hold Key To Hydrogen Storage. While what they say is plausible (in the MythBusters sense of the word), the original article is from Oregon, a source I know nothing about.A practical hydrogen car has been elusive for decades. Before the announcement this week by University of Delaware engineers, a nonstop trip from Portland to Eugene in a hydrogen car would need a tank bigger than 100 gallons to store liquid or gaseous fuel, even under high pressure.

Treated chicken feathers work like a sponge. They soak up large amounts of hydrogen and hold it in a small space so the tank can be a conventional size and the fuel won’t need to held under dangerously high pressures….

“It’s the most energy-rich material we have,” says Roger Ely, an Oregon State University professor who specializes in hydrogen, “It’s three times the energy content of gasoline on a pound-for-pound basis.”


Scientists understand this.  If you don’t fail, you don’t learn.  But you have to be careful how you define failure.  To a Scientist, not getting the results you want is not failure, it’s success.  That is, as long as you get reliable, consistent results.

One of my family’s favorite TV shows is MythBusters. Of course, much of what they do is horrible science in the name of entertainment.  I’m OK with that.  But it certainly gets fun science out there.  Adam Savage, one of the two main hosts, recently appeared at Maker Faire (run by Make), where he gave a wonderful talk (video from can be found here), mostly on this topic.