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Lightweight carbon composite good news for natural gas and hydrogen fuel storage

An alternative technology for lightweight carbon composite compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel tanks that utilizes selective fiber placement leads to significant reduction in weight and cost - demonstrating more than 20% reduction in material utilization according to its developer Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. (Lake Forest, CA).

The underlying methodology for the design and analysis of discrete composite elements was developed by Quantum, and the manufacturing process involving discontinuous reinforcing fibers was further developed and demonstrated under collaboration with the Boeing Company and the Pacific Northwest National Labs, under sponsorship by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the US Department of Energy. Past Department of Energy programs at Quantum have led to technology advancements that have been successfully implemented in production tanks.

"Quantum continues to innovate and enhance our industry-leading ultra-lightweight storage tank technology," said Brian Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quantum. "We are pleased that this exciting breakthrough will significantly reduce the use of expensive carbon fiber, which resulted from a multi-year development program in partnership with global leaders in utilizing lightweight materials."

Quantum currently produces one of the lightest and highest capacity natural gas and hydrogen on-board storage systems in the world. Developed at Quantum's technology campus in Lake Forest, California, Quantum's advanced natural gas storage systems reportedly provide dramatic weight reduction, increased fuel storage capacity, and the capability to quickly integrate these systems.

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