A New Class of Aluminum-Hydrogen Compounds

Researchers Create New Class of Compounds. ‘Findings may have applications in solid rocket fuel and/or the hydrogen economy.
Researchers have synthesized a new class of aluminum-hydrogen compounds with a unique chemistry that could lead to the development of more powerful solid rocket fuel and may also, in time, be useful for hydrogen-powered vehicles or other energy applications.
An article about this research, led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins and Virginia Commonwealth universities, is published in the Jan. 19 issue of the journal Science. The team also included scientists at University of Konstanz and University of Karlsruhe, both in Germany.
Through combined theoretical and experimental study, the team created this new class of aluminum/hydrogen molecules (called “hydrides”) that are relatively stable and are similar in structure to boranes, which are composed of boron and hydrogen atoms. This relative stability may hold the key to the compound’s possible future uses in rocket fuel, said team co-leader Kit Bowen, the E. Emmet Reid Professor in the departments of Chemistry and Materials Science at Johns Hopkins.’

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