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Northwestern University
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Crystal Power

These microscopic crystals could transform the way we power our vehicles — and reduce the hydrocarbon burden on the planet. Their high porosity and large surface area make them ideal candidates for the storage of natural gas. Photographer Gokhan Barin (PhD ’13) and his colleagues are working to develop a highly stable version of these crystals, known as metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs. These new MOFs could significantly reduce the pressure within gas tanks and increase their storage capacity, ultimately improving the safety of passenger vehicles and fostering the widespread use of natural gas. Back to top