Free - receive our print magazine
The Hydrogen Journal news & articles Social network RSS news feed Hydrogen news on a map About The Hydrogen Journal Links to hydrogen energy websites Links to hydrogen energy events Contact us SISTER PUBLICATIONS
Carbon Capture Journal Digital Energy Journal Tanker Operator
Univ of New South Wales develops sodium borohydride H2 storage
Applications, Aug 17 2012 (The Hydrogen Journal)
- Researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia, have developed a hydrogen storage material using sodium borohydride.
They have demonstrated that hydrogen can be released and reabsorbed from the material.
The researchers at the University's Materials Energy Research Laboratory in nanoscale (MERLin) managed to synthesise nanoparticles of sodium borohydride, and encased them in nickel shells.
It was able to release hydrogen at much lower temperatures than previously observed.
In its bulk form, sodium borohydride requires temperatures above 550 degrees Celsius just to release hydrogen. Even on the nano-scale the improvements were minimal. However, with their core-shell nanostructure, the researchers saw initial energy release happening at just 50 °C, and significant release at 350 °C.
“No one has ever tried to synthesise these particles at the nanoscale because they thought it was too difficult, and couldn’t be done," says Dr Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou from the School of Chemical Engineering at UNSW.
"We’re the first to do so, and demonstrate that energy in the form of hydrogen can be stored with sodium borohydride at practical temperatures and pressures."
Lightweight compounds known as borohydrides (including lithium and sodium compounds) are known to be effective storage materials but it was previously believed that once the energy was released it could not be reabsorbed.
“By controlling the size and architecture of these structures we can tune their properties and make them reversible – this means they can release and reabsorb hydrogen,” says Dr Aguey-Zinsou.
“We now have a way to tap into all these borohydride materials, which are particularly exciting for application on vehicles because of their high hydrogen storage capacity.”
The chemical reactions needed to absorb and release hydrogen occurred faster than previously studied materials, and at significantly reduced temperatures – making possible application far more practical.