Low-Pressure High-Capacity Storage System for Sustainable Hydrogen Economy

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Background: Hydrogen-fueled cell vehicles could gain ground as global researchers develop better processes to produce hydrogen economically from sustainable resources like solar and wind. On an energy-to-weight basis hydrogen has nearly three times the energy content of gasoline (120 megajoule or MJ per kilogram or kg for hydrogen versus 44 MJ/kg for gasoline). One problem is storing enough hydrogen on-board to achieve a reasonable driving range of 300 to 400 miles. On energy-to-volume basis hydrogen takes up nearly three times the volume of gasoline (8 MJ/liter for cryogenic liquid hydrogen versus 32 MJ/liter for gasoline). Another problem is related to next-generation solid absorbents like metal hydrides which typically show weakness in terms of the amount of gas that can be absorbed and delivered. Technology Description: To address these problems researchers at the University of California Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a composite material using nanostructured metal hydrides that is capable of storing three times more hydrogen per volume at room temperature than a comparable cryogenic liquid hydrogen tank. Furthermore low hydrogen pressures during absorbing and desorbing have been achieved. This represents a significant economic and safety advantage over technologically complex and costly high-pressure (10000 psi) hydrogen tanks commonly used in mobile hydrogen storage applications today. Applications: 1) Hydrogen gas storage for mobile applications 2) Hydrogen gas storage for stationary applications


1) Low-cost light-weight 2) Low pressure non-cryogenic 3) Fully reversible absorbing and desorbing cycle 4) Close to room temperature operation 5) Leverages lightweight earth abundant elements

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