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.
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.
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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