Novel Materials for Hydrogen Storage
The storage of hydrogen in high-pressure or liquid hydrogen tank is currently state of the art. Hydrogen storage in metal hydrides is a very safe alternative, but in the past, due to the low gravimetric density of hydrogen in the relatively heavy conventional room temperature hydrides, for many applications could not be used. In contrast, light metal hydrides are characterized by a high weight related storage density, but have the disadvantage of a higher hydrogen reaction heat. This can, similar to high pressure or liquid hydrogen storage, lead to a drop in energy efficiency.
Through the development of the so called Reactive Hydride Composites at GKSS, an important step has been achieved to reduce this reaction heat. In 2007, GKSS staff discovered a new process for the destabilization of hydride and hydride composites (patent applied for), which allows, by partially substituting fluorine for hydrogen to better tune the reaction heat to potential applications. The use of available process heat only (for example, the heat of a fuel cell) for the hydrogen desorption process therefore also in the new light metal hydrides and hydride composites moves even closer.