Lithium-Based Hydrides for Hydrogen Storage


Being the lightest metal in the Periodic Table, lithium represents potential to form a variety of hydrides with very high hydrogen capacity. Several lithium-based systems were developed using a combination of nanocrystalline structure with nano-particle catalysis, which has yielded hydrides with both high hydrogen capacity and remarkable kinetics of operation.  These developments were accomplished through the use of solid-state reactions in both the hydride production and its catalysis. 


Li-Be Hydrides

These materials show the highest viable and reversible hydrogen capacity at intermediatel temperatures of all metal hydrides. The reversible hydrogen capacity in these complex compounds reaches levels of almost 9 wt.% for Li3Be2H7. Measurements of equilibrium pressures of the Li–Be hydrides indicate that these materials can be used at temperatures down to 150°C.

These alloys, which perform through specific nano-scale rearrangements involving hydrogen, have demonstrated great potential, combining very beneficial properties: high hydrogen capacity, intermediate temperature range of operation, suitable pressures necessary for absorption, sufficient kinetic performance and reversibility without significant loss of performance.


Li-Mg-B Hydrides


A comparison of the catalyzed and non-catalyzed composition of the Li-Mg-B system. The catalyzed material desorbs hydrogen at much lower temperature, giving a total hydrogen capacity of 11 wt.%

Re-absorption of the above catalyzed composition



The above Lithium-based Hydride Technology is protected by the US patent # 6514478

“Lithium Based Hydrogen Storage Composition”


"A hydrogen storage composition has a hydrogenated state and a dehydrogenated state; the hydrogenated comprises a hydrided composition of lithium and an element M which forms a hydride, for example Be or Mg, an element E which forms a compound or solid solution with lithium e.g. C, B or Zn, or a mixture thereof; there are thus provided reversible Li-based hydrides of high hydrogen capacity"

Irreversible Hydrogen Generation

Example of hydrogen generation through thermal decomposition – LiAlH4


5 wt.% of hydrogen is generated at temperatures between 60oC and 80oC


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