Storing Hydrogen for Fuel-Cell Vehicles in Solid-State

A hydrogenation mechanism that directly forms magnesium borohydride avoids issues known to inhibit the refueling speed for hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen molecules (gray) dissociate on exposed magnesium (blue) layers of magnesium diboride and migrate to boron (green) edge sites to form borohydride units (BH4, center, light green and light gray).

A hydrogenation mechanism that directly forms magnesium borohydride avoids issues known to inhibit the refueling speed for hydrogen vehicles. Hydrogen molecules (gray) dissociate on exposed magnesium (blue) layers of magnesium diboride and migrate to boron (green) edge sites to form borohydride units (BH4, center, light green and light gray).

October 23, 2017 | Source: Machine Design, machinedesign.com, 2 October 2017, Stephen Mraz

Researchers at a national lab have uncovered a magnesium compound that could store hydrogen more efficiently.

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are exploring ways to use an inexpensive and layered superconductor compound to efficiently store hydrogen. They have already discovered the key mechanism used by magnesium diboride (MgB2) to absorb hydrogen and the reaction pathway that converts MgB2 to its highest hydrogen capacity form, magnesium borohydride (Mg(BH4)2). Mg(BH4)2 is a particularly promising hydrogen storage material because of its high hydrogen content and attractive thermodynamics.  Storing hydrogen is critical for hydrogen-fueled transportation as well as grid resiliency, energy storage, and the use of diverse domestic energy sources, including hydrogen, to reduce oil dependency.