Researchers have created carbon briquettes with complex nanopores capable of storing natural gas at a density of 180 times their own volume and at one- seventh the pressure of conventional natural gas tanks. The briquettes are the first technology to meet the 180 to 1 storage to volume target set by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2000.

Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnership for Innovation program, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) and Midwest Research Institute (MRI) in Kansas City developed the technology.

"We are very excited about this breakthrough because it may lead to a flatand compact tank that would fit under the floor of a passenger car, similar to current gasoline tanks," said Peter Pfeifer of MU. "Such a technology would make natural gas a widely attractive alternative fuel for everyone."

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