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Title: FINAL REPORT: Room Temperature Hydrogen Storage in Nano-Confined Liquids

DOE continues to seek solid-state hydrogen storage materials with hydrogen densities of ≥6 wt% and ≥50 g/L that can deliver hydrogen and be recharged at room temperature and moderate pressures enabling widespread use in transportation applications. Meanwhile, development including vehicle engineering and delivery infrastructure continues for compressed-gas hydrogen storage systems. Although compressed gas storage avoids the materials-based issues associated with solid-state storage, achieving acceptable volumetric densities has been a persistent challenge. This project examined the possibility of developing storage materials that would be compatible with compressed gas storage technology based on enhanced hydrogen solubility in nano-confined liquid solvents. These materials would store hydrogen in molecular form eliminating many limitations of current solid-state materials while increasing the volumetric capacity of compressed hydrogen storage vessels. Experimental methods were developed to study hydrogen solubility in nano-confined liquids. These methods included 1) fabrication of composites comprised of volatile liquid solvents for hydrogen confined within the nano-sized pore volume of nanoporous scaffolds and 2) measuring the hydrogen uptake capacity of these composites without altering the composite composition. The hydrogen storage capacities of these nano-confined solvent/scaffold composites were compared with bulk solvents and with empty scaffolds. The solvents and scaffolds were varied to optimize the enhancementmore » in hydrogen solubility that accompanies confinement of the solvent. In addition, computational simulations were performed to study the molecular-scale structure of liquid solvent when confined within an atomically realistic nano-sized pore of a model scaffold. Confined solvent was compared with similar simulations of bulk solvent. The results from the simulations were used to formulate a mechanism for the enhanced solubility and to guide the experiments. Overall, the combined experimental measurements and simulations indicate that hydrogen storage based on enhanced solubility in nano-confined liquids is unlikely to meet the storage densities required for practical use. Only low gravimetric capacities of < 0.5 wt% were achieved. More importantly, solvent filled scaffolds had lower volumetric capacities than corresponding empty scaffolds. Nevertheless, several of the composites measured did show significant (>~ 5x) enhanced hydrogen solubility relative to bulk solvent solubility, when the hydrogen capacity was attributed only to dissolution in the confined solvent. However, when the hydrogen capacity was compared to an empty scaffold that is known to store hydrogen by surface adsorption on the scaffold walls, including the solvent always reduced the hydrogen capacity. For the best composites, this reduction relative to an empty scaffold was ~30%; for the worst it was ~90%. The highest capacities were obtained with the largest solvent molecules and with scaffolds containing 3- dimensionally confined pore geometries. The simulations suggested that the capacity of the composites originated from hydrogen adsorption on the scaffold pore walls at sites not occupied by solvent molecules. Although liquid solvent filled the pores, not all of the adsorption sites on the pore walls were occupied due to restricted motion of the solvent molecules within the confined pore space.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1133702
Report Number(s):
FINAL REPORT
DOE Contract Number:
EE0005659
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
HRL LABORATORIES, LLC
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Contributing Orgs:
HRL LABORATORIES, LLC
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN ROOM TEMPERATURE HYDROGEN STORAGE, NANO-CONFINED LIQUIDS, HYDROGEN STORAGE, HYDROGEN, ENERGY, ENERGY STORAGE, HYDROGEN