Chemists develop liquid-based hydrogen storage material

Nov 22, 2011
Stored hydrogen releases in the presence of iron chloride via a storage technology created in the University of Oregon lab of Shih-Yuan Liu. Credit: Courtesy of Shih-Yuan Liu

University of Oregon chemists have developed a boron-nitrogen-based liquid-phase storage material for hydrogen that works safely at room temperature and is both air- and moisture-stable -- an accomplishment that offers a possible route through current storage and transportation obstacles.

Reporting in a paper placed online ahead of publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a team of four UO scientists describes the development of a cyclic amine borane-based platform called BN-methylcyclopentane. In addition to its temperature and stability properties, it also features hydrogen desorption, without any phase change, that is clean, fast and controllable. It uses readily available iron chloride as a catalyst for desorption, and allows for recycling of spent fuel into a charged state.

The big challenges to move this storage platform forward, researchers cautioned, are the needs to increase hydrogen yield and develop a more energy efficient regeneration mechanism.

"In addition to renewable , the development of technologies continues to be an important task toward establishing a hydrogen-based ," said Shih-Yuan Liu, professor of chemistry and researcher in the UO Material Sciences Institute.

The U.S. Department of Energy, which funded the research, is shooting to develop a viable liquid or solid carrier for by 2017. The new UO approach differs from many other technologies being studied in that it is liquid-based rather than solid, which, Liu says, would ease the possible transition from a gasoline to a .

"The field of materials-based hydrogen storage has been dominated by the study of solid-phase materials such as metal hydrides, sorbent materials and ," Liu said. "The availability of a liquid-phase hydrogen could represent a practical hydrogen storage option for mobile and carrier applications that takes advantage of the currently prevalent liquid-based fuel infrastructure."

The key is in the chemistry. Liu's team originally discovered six-membered cyclic amine borane materials that readily trimerize -- form a larger desired molecule -- with the release of hydrogen. These initial materials, however, were solids. By tweaking the structure, including reducing the ring size from 6- to a 5-membered ring, the group succeeded in creating a liquid version that has low vapor pressures and does not change its liquid property upon hydrogen release.

Initially, the new platform could be more readily adopted for use in portable fuel cell-powered devices, said Liu, who also is a member of Oregon BEST (Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center).

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User comments : 35

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Scottingham
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2011
If there were a god, I'd ask it to bless chemists and material scientists!
nejc2008
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 22, 2011
God or no god, a have a feelig that beforet this hits the market we shall all be gone a long time. As happens with all similar "revolutional" discoveries. Alas.
Cave_Man
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2011
If there were anything greater or more important than me, I'd ask it to say gesundheit to me!


Mmm yeah, I totally agree.

Science is simple at the technical levels, complex at the all pervasive facet...and overall worthless to a human who lives 75 years and turns to worm food. The only way out of this cycle of thinking is that thought itself in only an abstraction of some physical law of the universe.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.8 / 5 (11) Nov 22, 2011
Another wonderful example of Government funded science.

We must defund this science immediately so that it does not challenge the Oil and Coal industry, and shut down the Department of Energy so that it will no longer fund these alternatives.
rynox
5 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2011
Ideally, this could ultimately be done inexpensively and could be used in regular gasoline engines. Imagine that possibility for a moment...
Callippo
1.9 / 5 (8) Nov 22, 2011
Another wonderful example of Government funded science.
I can just agree. Boranes are one of most toxic and expensive to manufacture compounds on the Earth. It's much cheaper to produce hydrocarbons, i.e. the gasoline from hydrogen, coal and water, than these borohydrides - and the resulting product will even remain compatible with existing engines. This research is just a salary generator for trolls involved (and I even didn't mentioned cold fusion, which will make whole the hydrogen economy research useless crap).
antialias_physorg
4.8 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2011

As they say: yield is low and yet no efficient generation mechanism.
But the advantages of liquid and (at room temperature) stable fluids is obvious. Good first step.
Eikka
5 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2011
(and I even didn't mentioned cold fusion, which will make whole the hydrogen economy research useless crap).


But you did anyways.

Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Nov 22, 2011
Many people aren't happy about cold fusion from good reason - actually just these, who are developing alternative energetic "solutions". This is why this finding penetrates so slowly into scientific community - most of people there are dealing with some energy generation/storage applications based on chemistry - and the nuclear fusion is ten thousand times more effective. It mean, one nuclear physicist will replace fifty thousands of researchers and all these people have a good reason to remain upset with cold fusion.
Shootist
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2011
More pixie dust and unicorn farts (though stable at 20C is good).
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2011
Many people aren't happy about cold fusion from good reason

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it. You like cold fusion and omatur likes neuton repulsion. But is that a reason to plug your pet crank theory into EVERY thread that has NOTHING to do with it?
It's getting old.

Wait until the next 'revelation' on cold fusion is reported on physorg (which shouldn't take too long) and then post away with everything you got. Fine.

But otherwise keep this out of unrelated threads. Please. Do.
rawa1
1 / 5 (2) Nov 23, 2011
But is that a reason to plug your pet crank theory into EVERY thread that has NOTHING to do with it
Which theory? Cold fusion is not my theory and it's actually very hot problem for all people on the Earth. Not technical, but solely sociopsychological one.

We are devastating life environment for further generations and losing huge money each day just because the attitude of people like you. We all are paying these money and risking global nuclear war for nothing - nearly twenty years already. This is simply crazy situation, at least from my perspective. We are sitting on the coffer with treasury and we are scared to open it.

Can you imagine, how the future generations will judge it?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
Can you imagine, how the future generations will judge it?

Can you imagine how irrelevant your contribution on cold fusion is to an article on a solution to hydrogen storage? It boggles the mind.

It should be obvious, even to you, that there is no connection. It should be obvious that your judgement of what is relavent is sorely lacking. This should give you pause when reflecting on how good your judgement is concerning technologies you have no understanding of (cold fusion).
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 23, 2011
Even if cold fusion became a reality, we'd still need a storage medium for the hydrogen fuel that it would be using...
Royale
not rated yet Nov 23, 2011
Excellent point Ricochet. You sure need an efficient way of storing hydrogen regardless.
astro_optics
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
Going over to Hydrogen from carbon based fuels will not solve any "Environmental probles", H2O vapour (Hydrogen burning product) is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, so the Global Warming effect would get worse...will they ban H2O next???
astro_optics
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
The best medium for storing Hydrogen are Carbon polymers :P
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2011
Can you imagine how irrelevant your contribution on cold fusion is to an article on a solution to hydrogen storage?
Of course it is relevant. This article describes the technology for energy storage. The cold fusion would make this technology unnecessary. It's direct competitor of this technology.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2011
Energy storage does not equal energy production.

If you do not understand the difference between those two then you haven't grasped the most basic fundamentals.
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 25, 2011
Energy storage does not equal energy production.

If you do not understand the difference between those two then you haven't grasped the most basic fundamentals.


Which refers back to my previous point... Hydrogen storage would still be needed for Cold Fusion if you were using hydrogen for the fuel.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2011
Hydrogen storage would still be needed for Cold Fusion if you were using hydrogen for the fuel.
Of course, but after then you could use the oxygen hydride as a storage hydride, despite its volatility and large volume toxicity.

http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
Callippo has a good point, though.
If only a fraction of the funding made available for these types of essentially hydrocarbon-fuel technologies was made available for above-ground cold fusion research, our energy problems could be solved, more or less entirely.
The big roadblock to massive development and deployment of cold fusion derived energy is that it would put the hydrocarbonists out of business --permanently.

They aren't going to take the loss of trillions in revenues lying down. I suspect that this is the reason for such anemic development for "alternative energy". If it isn't going to be hitched to fossil fuels in one way or another, and therefore at some point annexable, then R&D funding is going to be very difficult to obtain.

This does nothing but sustain the current paradigm, any way you choose to look at it.

MorituriMax
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
If only a fraction of the funding made available for these types of essentially hydrocarbon-fuel technologies was made available for above-ground cold fusion research, our energy problems could be solved, more or less entirely.

"Funding" does not equal "Technology"
Shakescene21
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
"H2O vapour (Hydrogen burning product) is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, so the Global Warming effect would get worse..."

@Astro optics - Did you forget that burning fossil fuels also releases H2O along with the CO2 ? Water vapor from gasoline combustion is not considered a substantial AGW problem, and I doubt that this would be the case with hydrogen-powered cars.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
Which refers back to my previous point... Hydrogen storage would still be needed for Cold Fusion if you were using hydrogen for the fuel.

Why would we need a non-working energy source to produce fuel?
Seems like a losing proposition to me.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
If only a fraction of the funding made available for these types of essentially hydrocarbon-fuel technologies was made available for above-ground cold fusion research, our energy problems could be solved, more or less entirely.
But too many people would lose their jobs. The problem of contemporary society is not only to feed the people, but to give them a meaning of life. Too many people today are engaged in activities, which essentially no one requires. It becomes more and more apparent, the problem of the human society evolution are just these people, who are dealing with sh**s whole their life.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
our energy problems could be solved, more or less entirely
It's not about energy problems, but environmental, sociopolitical etc. For example, the so called the "green technologies" are serving as a fossil fuel replacement, but they're bulky, material hungry, they require many rare earth elements etc, thus loading the life environment anyway, just at the places, which aren't so apparent. Their common problem is, they're based on existing technologies, so they don't contain any value added. They just replacing the consumption of energy with the consumption of materials. I do perceive it as a rather unhappy evolution, because the energy is essentially recoverable, but many materials aren't. Our civilization is too engaged in energy production, the energy production plants in whatever form are occupying more and more precious space for living and the green technologies are increasing this trend even more.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
We should say clearly, at the time of cold fusion the wind plants or biofuels are as evil, as the fossil fuel plants. I don't want to have countryside covered with wind turbines or biofermentors in the same way, like with nuclear of fossil fuel plants. My priority is to have as large area of planet intact as possible and to produce all things required for living of people in as unobtrusive way, as possible. The energy should be produced just at the places, where we are consuming it = no wires, no wireless energy transfers, no batteries and similar BS. Such requirement will wipe out the substantial portion of research, which is dedicated to the development of new technologies by now. We will not need any new materials or researchers connected with it.
cloroxcomet
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
I power my house by cold fusion. Oil companies have paid me to keep my technology a secret, so I can't give any details, but I can tell you it works great.
Eric_B
1 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2011
cloroxcomet, as we used to say in elementary school, "you lie, you lie! you got a fly in your eye!"
Ricochet
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
Which refers back to my previous point... Hydrogen storage would still be needed for Cold Fusion if you were using hydrogen for the fuel.

Why would we need a non-working energy source to produce fuel?
Seems like a losing proposition to me.


You missed the point. If cold fusion worked, you'd still need a method to store the fuel for it. Get it now?
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
If cold fusion worked, you'd still need a method to store the fuel for it. Get it now?

It's much more easier the transfer the hydrogen in form of water after then, because the energy required for electrolysis will be negligible with compare to energy of cold fusion.
MorituriMax
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
I think he got it without the condescending attitude, ricochet. Maybe he even sees a problem with it that you don't?
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
I think he got it without the condescending attitude, ricochet. Maybe he even sees a problem with it that you don't?

He's more than able to state that, be it his intention. Who are you to insult for anyone but yourself?
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
IMO the most effective arrangement of cold fusion would be a co-deposition of nickel and hydrogen in some molten salt electrolyte, i.e. with no external nickel and hydrogen supply.

http://www.focus....7167.pdf
http://www.spawar...vol1.pdf
http://newenergyt...ts-w.pdf
http://newenergyt...ions.pdf

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