Development of Passive Humidity-Control Materials

EPA Grant Number: R830420C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R830420
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)
Center Director: Earl, David A.
Title: Development of Passive Humidity-Control Materials
Investigators: Shelby, James , Hall, Matthew M. , Doremus, Robert
Current Investigators: Carty, William , Sinton, Chris
Institution: Alfred University
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2006
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Targeted Research Center (2002) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Congressionally Mandated Center , Targeted Research


Our work to date has proven the validity of photo-enhanced hydrogen diffusion through glasses doped with optical activators. Development of a working gas storage device now requires the production of hollow glass microspheres (HGMS) of the appropriate, non-commercial compositions. This study will provide the information and a facility needed to produce HGMS and with adequate samples of HGMS to study kinetics of filling and outgassing of HGMS. The kinetic study will provide the data needed to design an operational hydrogen generator.


Hollow glass microspheres will be produced using the sol-gel method. Development of this process will consist of creating an appropriate precursor solution and constructing and testing an apparatus for producing HGMS. Once the HGMS are available, the kinetics of filling/release of hydrogen will be determined using a PVT method coupled with light as an activating energy source.

Expected Results:

The results of the study will provide us with the “reduction to practice” needed to patent the hydrogen storage device and to convince potential funding agencies and automobile manufacturers of the viability of this technique. Ultimately, our work should lead to a revolutionary new method for storing, transporting, and delivering hydrogen on demand. The replacement of gasoline with hydrogen for operating automobiles has the potential to transform the transportation industry into a “clean fleet” by significantly reducing smog, and could save hundreds of billions of dollars in imported oil costs.

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainable industry/business, glass technology, technology for sustainable environment, hazardous emissions, clean technologies, cleaner production, cleaner automobiles, hydrogen economy, fuel cell technology, environmental materials, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, clean energy, cleaner production, sustainable development, clean technologies, environmental conscious construction, clean manufacturing, glass microspheres, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative fuel, photo enhanced hydrogen diffusion, alternative energy source

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2005
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R830420    Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828737C001 Environmental Impact of Fuel Cell Power Generation Systems
    R828737C002 Regional Economic and Material Flows
    R828737C003 Visualizing Growth and Sustainability of Water Resources
    R828737C004 Vibratory Residual Stress Relief and Modifications in Metals to Conserve Resources and Prevent Pollution
    R828737C005 Detecting and Quantifying the Evolution of Hazardous Air Pollutants Produced During High Temperature Manufacturing: A Focus on Batching of Nitrate Containing Glasses
    R828737C006 Sulfate and Nitrate Dynamics in the Canacadea Watershed
    R828737C007 Variations in Subsurface Denitrifying and Sulfate-Reducing Microbial Populations as a Result of Acid Precipitation
    R828737C008 Recycling Glass-Reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composite Materials
    R828737C009 Correlating Clay Mineralogy with Performance: Reducing Manufacturing Waste Through Improved Understanding
    R830420C001 Accelerated Hydrogen Diffusion Through Glass Microspheres: An Enabling Technology for a Hydrogen Economy
    R830420C002 Utilization of Paper Mill Waste in Ceramic Products
    R830420C003 Development of Passive Humidity-Control Materials
    R830420C004 Microarray System for Contaminated Water Analysis
    R830420C005 Material and Environmental Sustainability in Ceramic Processing
    R830420C006 Interaction of Sealing Glasses with Metallic Interconnects in Solid Oxide and Polymer Fuel Cells
    R830420C007 Preparation of Ceramic Glaze Waste for Recycling using Froth Flotation
    R830420C008 Elimination of Lead from Ceramic Glazes by Refractive Index Tailoring
    R830420C010 Nanostructured C6B: A Novel Boron Rich Carbon for H2 Storage