skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Complex Hydride Compounds with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Capacity

Abstract

The United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), in collaboration with major partners Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle) and the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), conducted research to discover new hydride materials for the storage of hydrogen having on-board reversibility and a target gravimetric capacity of ≥ 7.5 weight percent (wt %). When integrated into a system with a reasonable efficiency of 60% (mass of hydride / total mass), this target material would produce a system gravimetric capacity of ≥ 4.5 wt %, consistent with the DOE 2007 target. The approach established for the project combined first principles modeling (FPM - UTRC) with multiple synthesis methods: Solid State Processing (SSP - UTRC), Solution Based Processing (SBP - Albemarle) and Molten State Processing (MSP - SRNL). In the search for novel compounds, each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages; by combining them, the potential for success was increased. During the project, UTRC refined its FPM framework which includes ground state (0 Kelvin) structural determinations, elevated temperature thermodynamic predictions and thermodynamic / phase diagram calculations. This modeling was used both to precede synthesis in a virtual search for new compounds and after initial synthesis to examine reaction details and options for modifications including co-reactant additions.more » The SSP synthesis method involved high energy ball milling which was simple, efficient for small batches and has proven effective for other storage material compositions. The SBP method produced very homogeneous chemical reactions, some of which cannot be performed via solid state routes, and would be the preferred approach for large scale production. The MSP technique is similar to the SSP method, but involves higher temperature and hydrogen pressure conditions to achieve greater species mobility. During the initial phases of the project, the focus was on higher order alanate complexes in the phase space between alkaline metal hydrides (AmH), Alkaline earth metal hydrides (AeH2), alane (AlH3), transition metal (Tm) hydrides (TmHz, where z=1-3) and molecular hydrogen (H2). The effort started first with variations of known alanates and subsequently extended the search to unknown compounds. In this stage, the FPM techniques were developed and validated on known alanate materials such as NaAlH4 and Na2LiAlH6. The coupled predictive methodologies were used to survey over 200 proposed phases in six quaternary spaces, formed from various combinations of Na, Li Mg and/or Ti with Al and H. A wide range of alanate compounds was examined using SSP having additions of Ti, Cr, Co, Ni and Fe. A number of compositions and reaction paths were identified having H weight fractions up to 5.6 wt %, but none meeting the 7.5 wt%H reversible goal. Similarly, MSP of alanates produced a number of interesting compounds and general conclusions regarding reaction behavior of mixtures during processing, but no alanate based candidates meeting the 7.5 wt% goal. A novel alanate, LiMg(AlH4)3, was synthesized using SBP that demonstrated a 7.0 wt% capacity with a desorption temperature of 150°C. The deuteride form was synthesized and characterized by the Institute for Energy (IFE) in Norway to determine its crystalline structure for related FPM studies. However, the reaction exhibited exothermicity and therefore was not reversible under acceptable hydrogen gas pressures for on-board recharging. After the extensive studies of alanates, the material class of emphasis was shifted to borohydrides. Through SBP, several ligand-stabilized Mg(BH4)2 complexes were synthesized. The Mg(BH4)2*2NH3 complex was found to change behavior with slightly different synthesis conditions and/or aging. One of the two mechanisms was an amine-borane (NH3BH3) like dissociation reaction which released up to 16 wt %H and more conservatively 9 wt%H when not including H2 released from the NH3. From FPM, the stability of the Mg(BH4)2*2NH3 compound was found to increase with the inclusion of NH3 groups in the inner-Mg coordination sphere, which in turn correlated with lowering the dimensionality of the Mg(BH4)2 network. Development of various Ak Tm-B-H compounds using SSP produced up to 12 wt% of H2 desorbed at temperatures of 400°C. However, the most active material can only be partially recharged to 2 wt% H2 at 220-300°C and 195 bar H2 pressure due to stable product formation. While gravimetric & volumetric targets are feasible, reversibility remains a persistent challenge.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
United Technologies Research Center, East Hartford, CT; Albemarle Corporatioin, Baton Rouge, LA; Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, GA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
923778
Report Number(s):
DOE/GO/14012
TRN: US200816%%661
DOE Contract Number:  
FC36-04GO14012
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; ALKALINE EARTH METALS; BOROHYDRIDES; CAPACITY; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; DEUTERIDES; GROUND STATES; HYDRIDES; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN STORAGE; PHASE SPACE; PROCESSING; STORAGE; SYNTHESIS; THERMODYNAMICS; TRANSITION ELEMENTS; hydrogen storage; hydride; alanate; borohydride; atomic modeling; thermodynamics; synthesis; characterization; reversibility; ligand

Citation Formats

Mosher, Daniel A, Opalka, Susanne M, Tang, Xia, Laube, Bruce L, Brown, Ronald J, Vanderspurt, Thomas H, Arsenault, Sarah, Wu, Robert, Strickler, Jamie, Anton, Donald L, Zidan, Ragaiy, and Berseth, Polly. Complex Hydride Compounds with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Capacity. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.2172/923778.
Mosher, Daniel A, Opalka, Susanne M, Tang, Xia, Laube, Bruce L, Brown, Ronald J, Vanderspurt, Thomas H, Arsenault, Sarah, Wu, Robert, Strickler, Jamie, Anton, Donald L, Zidan, Ragaiy, & Berseth, Polly. Complex Hydride Compounds with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Capacity. United States. doi:10.2172/923778.
Mosher, Daniel A, Opalka, Susanne M, Tang, Xia, Laube, Bruce L, Brown, Ronald J, Vanderspurt, Thomas H, Arsenault, Sarah, Wu, Robert, Strickler, Jamie, Anton, Donald L, Zidan, Ragaiy, and Berseth, Polly. Mon . "Complex Hydride Compounds with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Capacity". United States. doi:10.2172/923778. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/923778.
@article{osti_923778,
title = {Complex Hydride Compounds with Enhanced Hydrogen Storage Capacity},
author = {Mosher, Daniel A and Opalka, Susanne M and Tang, Xia and Laube, Bruce L and Brown, Ronald J and Vanderspurt, Thomas H and Arsenault, Sarah and Wu, Robert and Strickler, Jamie and Anton, Donald L and Zidan, Ragaiy and Berseth, Polly},
abstractNote = {The United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), in collaboration with major partners Albemarle Corporation (Albemarle) and the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), conducted research to discover new hydride materials for the storage of hydrogen having on-board reversibility and a target gravimetric capacity of ≥ 7.5 weight percent (wt %). When integrated into a system with a reasonable efficiency of 60% (mass of hydride / total mass), this target material would produce a system gravimetric capacity of ≥ 4.5 wt %, consistent with the DOE 2007 target. The approach established for the project combined first principles modeling (FPM - UTRC) with multiple synthesis methods: Solid State Processing (SSP - UTRC), Solution Based Processing (SBP - Albemarle) and Molten State Processing (MSP - SRNL). In the search for novel compounds, each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages; by combining them, the potential for success was increased. During the project, UTRC refined its FPM framework which includes ground state (0 Kelvin) structural determinations, elevated temperature thermodynamic predictions and thermodynamic / phase diagram calculations. This modeling was used both to precede synthesis in a virtual search for new compounds and after initial synthesis to examine reaction details and options for modifications including co-reactant additions. The SSP synthesis method involved high energy ball milling which was simple, efficient for small batches and has proven effective for other storage material compositions. The SBP method produced very homogeneous chemical reactions, some of which cannot be performed via solid state routes, and would be the preferred approach for large scale production. The MSP technique is similar to the SSP method, but involves higher temperature and hydrogen pressure conditions to achieve greater species mobility. During the initial phases of the project, the focus was on higher order alanate complexes in the phase space between alkaline metal hydrides (AmH), Alkaline earth metal hydrides (AeH2), alane (AlH3), transition metal (Tm) hydrides (TmHz, where z=1-3) and molecular hydrogen (H2). The effort started first with variations of known alanates and subsequently extended the search to unknown compounds. In this stage, the FPM techniques were developed and validated on known alanate materials such as NaAlH4 and Na2LiAlH6. The coupled predictive methodologies were used to survey over 200 proposed phases in six quaternary spaces, formed from various combinations of Na, Li Mg and/or Ti with Al and H. A wide range of alanate compounds was examined using SSP having additions of Ti, Cr, Co, Ni and Fe. A number of compositions and reaction paths were identified having H weight fractions up to 5.6 wt %, but none meeting the 7.5 wt%H reversible goal. Similarly, MSP of alanates produced a number of interesting compounds and general conclusions regarding reaction behavior of mixtures during processing, but no alanate based candidates meeting the 7.5 wt% goal. A novel alanate, LiMg(AlH4)3, was synthesized using SBP that demonstrated a 7.0 wt% capacity with a desorption temperature of 150°C. The deuteride form was synthesized and characterized by the Institute for Energy (IFE) in Norway to determine its crystalline structure for related FPM studies. However, the reaction exhibited exothermicity and therefore was not reversible under acceptable hydrogen gas pressures for on-board recharging. After the extensive studies of alanates, the material class of emphasis was shifted to borohydrides. Through SBP, several ligand-stabilized Mg(BH4)2 complexes were synthesized. The Mg(BH4)2*2NH3 complex was found to change behavior with slightly different synthesis conditions and/or aging. One of the two mechanisms was an amine-borane (NH3BH3) like dissociation reaction which released up to 16 wt %H and more conservatively 9 wt%H when not including H2 released from the NH3. From FPM, the stability of the Mg(BH4)2*2NH3 compound was found to increase with the inclusion of NH3 groups in the inner-Mg coordination sphere, which in turn correlated with lowering the dimensionality of the Mg(BH4)2 network. Development of various Ak Tm-B-H compounds using SSP produced up to 12 wt% of H2 desorbed at temperatures of 400°C. However, the most active material can only be partially recharged to 2 wt% H2 at 220-300°C and 195 bar H2 pressure due to stable product formation. While gravimetric & volumetric targets are feasible, reversibility remains a persistent challenge.},
doi = {10.2172/923778},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {2}
}