Material concept makes hydrogen refuelling easier and faster: Page 2 of 2

January 10, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Material concept makes hydrogen refuelling easier and faster
Hydrogen is a clean drive for vehicles, but storing this gas is still difficult. When stored in tanks in the vehicle, the refuelling process must be carried out at very high pressure. An alternative is solid-state fuel storage based on magnesium-nitrogen, but this requires very high temperatures during refuelling. Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht (HZG), have now presented a concept to significantly simplify this process.

Conventionally, the refueling process for the magnesium-nitrogen-based hydride systems takes around 30 minutes for 5 kilograms of hydrogen. The HZG scientists have now succeeded in combining two additives that drastically accelerate the refueling process: The element potassium and lithium titanate oxide. For this purpose, the scientists have ground potassium and titanate together with the magnesium-nitrogen system into tiny nanoparticles. This enlarges the surface area of the individual particles, causing them to bind more hydrogen.

HZG doctoral student Gökhan Gizer conducted countless experiments for the study. He has now achieved a breakthrough: In his recently published study, the materials researchers were able to show that potassium-lithium-titanate nanoparticles as catalysts accelerate the loading of hydrogen in the magnesium-nitrogen system. "We have thus invented a system that makes the refueling process about five times faster than without potassium lithium titanate," explains Gizer.

The scientists are now working on the goal of optimizing the reaction kinetics of these new materials and qualifying them for technical use in vehicles.

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