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Title: New Pathways and Metrics for Enhanced, Reversible Hydrogen Storage in Boron-Doped Carbon Nanospaces

This project, since its start in 2007—entitled “Networks of boron-doped carbon nanopores for low-pressure reversible hydrogen storage” (2007-10) and “New pathways and metrics for enhanced, reversible hydrogen storage in boron-doped carbon nanospaces” (2010-13)—is in support of the DOE's National Hydrogen Storage Project, as part of the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program’s comprehensive efforts to enable the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in diverse sectors of the economy. Hydrogen storage is widely recognized as a critical enabling technology for the successful commercialization and market acceptance of hydrogen powered vehicles. Storing sufficient hydrogen on board a wide range of vehicle platforms, at energy densities comparable to gasoline, without compromising passenger or cargo space, remains an outstanding technical challenge. Of the main three thrust areas in 2007—metal hydrides, chemical hydrogen storage, and sorption-based hydrogen storage—sorption-based storage, i.e., storage of molecular hydrogen by adsorption on high-surface-area materials (carbons, metal-organic frameworks, and other porous organic networks), has emerged as the most promising path toward achieving the 2017 DOE storage targets of 0.055 kg H2/kg system (“5.5 wt%”) and 0.040 kg H2/liter system. The objective of the project is to develop high-surface-area carbon materials that are boron-doped by incorporation of boron intomore » the carbon lattice at the outset, i.e., during the synthesis of the material. The rationale for boron-doping is the prediction that boron atoms in carbon will raise the binding energy of hydro- gen from 4-5 kJ/mol on the undoped surface to 10-14 kJ/mol on a doped surface, and accordingly the hydro- gen storage capacity of the material. The mechanism for the increase in binding energy is electron donation from H2 to electron-deficient B atoms, in the form of sp2 boron-carbon bonds. Our team is proud to have demonstrated the predicted increase in binding energy experimentally, currently at ~10 kJ/mol. The synthetic route for incorporation of boron at the outset is to create appropriately designed copoly- mers, with a boron-free and a boron-carrying monomer, followed by pyrolysis of the polymer, yielding a bo- ron-substituted carbon scaffold in which boron atoms are bonded to carbon atoms by synthesis. This is in contrast to a second route (funded by DE-FG36-08GO18142) in which first high-surface area carbon is cre- ated and doped by surface vapor deposition of boron, with incorporation of the boron into the lattice the final step of the fabrication. The challenge in the first route is to create high surface areas without compromising sp2 boron-carbon bonds. The challenge in the second route is to create sp2 boron-carbon bonds without com- promising high surface areas.« less
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  1. University of Missouri
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of Missouri
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
08 HYDROGEN; hydrogen storage, porous materials, adsorption