skip to main content

Title: Optimization of Nano-Carbon Materials for Hydrogen Sorption

Research undertaken has added to the understanding of several critical areas, by providing both negative answers (and therefore eliminating expensive further studies of unfeasible paths) and positive feasible options for storage. Theoretical evaluation of the early hypothesis of storage on pure carbon single wall nanotubes (SWNT) has been scrutinized with the use of comprehensive computational methods (and experimental tests by the Center partners), and demonstrated that the fundamentally weak binding energy of hydrogen is not sufficiently enhanced by the SWNT curvature or even defects, which renders carbon nanotubes not practical media. More promising direction taken was towards 3-dimensional architectures of high porosity where concurrent attraction of H2 molecule to surrounding walls of nano-scale cavities can double or even triple the binding energy and therefore make hydrogen storage feasible even at ambient or somewhat lower temperatures. An efficient computational tool has been developed for the rapid capacity assessment combining (i) carbon-foam structure generation, (ii) accurate empirical force fields, with quantum corrections for the lightweight H2, and (iii) grand canonical Monte Carlo simulation. This made it possible to suggest optimal designs for carbon nanofoams, obtainable via welding techniques from SWNT or by growth on template-zeolites. As a precursor for 3D-foams, we havemore » investigated experimentally the synthesis of VANTA (Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays). This can be used for producing nano-foams. On the other hand, fluorination of VANTA did not show promising increase of hydrogen sorption in several tests and may require further investigation and improvements. Another significant result of this project was in developing a fundamental understanding of the elements of hydrogen spillover mechanisms. The benefit of developed models is the ability to foresee possible directions for further improvement of the spillover mechanism.« less
  1. Rice University
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Rice University
Sponsoring Org:
Contributing Orgs:
Rice University
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN hydrogen, carbon, storage, capacity, sorbents, single wall nanotubes, spillover