Low-Cost, Conformable Natural Gas Tanks | SRI International

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prototype of natural gas tank using SRI and Entregris technology

Conformable Natural Gas Tanks

SRI is developing a safe, low-pressure, conformable natural gas tank for light-duty vehicles.

SRI has completed a proof of concept demonstration for a low-pressure, conformable natural gas tank that can be incorporated into unused vehicle space. In the SRI designed system, a simple polymer coating keeps natural gas stored safely inside a monolith made of BrightBlack® microporous carbon from Entegris, Inc. (formerly ATMI, Inc.). The carbon stores natural gas at relatively low-pressure by adsorption and has enough structural integrity to act as the pressurized container in a system designed by SRI.

At the conclusion of the project, the technology was licensed to BlackPak Inc., a startup created to commercialize natural gas storage tanks for use in applications that include light-duty vehicles. SRI’s initial proof of concept work was funded by ARPA-E’s Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE) Program.

Today’s natural gas vehicles use bulky fuel tanks. The system designed by SRI can approximately match the storage capacity and weight of a compressed natural gas (CNG) tank while storing the gas at only 500 psi in unused vehicle space. The carbon sorbent safely releases gas through diffusion, even in a sudden, unexpected rupture.  SRI continues to examine other applications for this technology.

Acknowledgment: The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), U.S. Department of Energy, under Award Number DE-AR0000250.

Disclaimer: The information, data, or work presented herein was funded in part by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.