Web Date: January 7, 2015
New Hydrogen Storage Material Can Take The Heat
Hydrogen gas is touted as a possible clean alternative energy source. But without a way to store the gas safely, hydrogen-fuel cells won’t be practical. And for some applications, the stored gas must be stable for long periods of time, sometimes under extreme temperatures. Now, researchers have created an H2 storage molecule that does not decompose even at temperatures up to 150 °C (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ja511766p).
Shih-Yuan Liu, an organometallic chemist at Boston College, and his colleagues work on synthesizing amine borane compounds that can store and release H2. Amine boranes have relatively high H2-storage capacities and can release the gas quickly, but generally the compounds aren’t stable at high temperatures.
The researchers synthesized the new compound, a bis-BN cyclohexane in three steps. When dissolved in tetrahydrofuran along with a ruthenium catalyst at room temperature, the compound releases hydrogen in as little as 15 minutes.
The molecule’s storage capacity is 4.7% hydrogen by weight. For use in vehicle fuel cells, the researchers would have to reengineer the compound to increase capacity, Liu says, seeing as the Department of Energy has set a 5.5 wt % target for hydrogen storage systems for 2020. But the compound may be appropriate for other applications, such as in backup generators that would store energy long term in case of a natural disaster, he says.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
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