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Masses of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with a large mean diameter of about 1.85 nanometers, synthesized by a semicontinuous hydrogen arc discharge method, were employed for hydrogen adsorption experiments in their as-prepared and pretreated states. A hydrogen storage capacity of 4.2 weight percent, or a hydrogen to carbon atom ratio of 0.52, was achieved reproducibly at room temperature under a modestly high pressure (about 10 megapascal) for a SWNT sample of about 500 milligram weight that was soaked in hydrochloric acid and then heat-treated in vacuum. Moreover, 78.3 percent of the adsorbed hydrogen (3.3 weight percent) could be released under ambient pressure at room temperature, while the release of the residual stored hydrogen (0.9 weight percent) required some heating of the sample. Because the SWNTs can be easily produced and show reproducible and modestly high hydrogen uptake at room temperature, they show promise as an effective hydrogen storage material.
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