Efficient Hydrogen Storage for Fuel Cells

SMW is experimenting with several magnesium hydride compound modifications, comprising potentially optimal solutions for attaining the most effective and easily implementable hydrogen storage by way of selective H2 adsorption facilitated by Mg powder produced by SMW. This process is more economical and efficient because it does not require extraordinarily high temperature levels or high power input for production of MgH2. The process of hydrogen chemisorption is accomplished at 170°C - 220°C in special oil suspension and represents optimized technological solution for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis.

While it is commonly considered that AlH3, LiNH2 and LiAlH4 storage and transportation solutions are somewhat more efficient as compared with MgH2; the balance is shifting toward magnesium hydride through the efforts of SMW. The developed process does not yield alkali by-products such as LiOH or NaOH, and does not involve toxic chemicals such as NaBH4. The typically required significant levels of energy consumption for achieving intense pressurization, without which acceptable volume efficiency in unattainable, is avoided with this process; and cryogenic temperatures are not required for compressing hydrogen at above 100 atmospheres, to be accomplished at ~ 23°C for successful efficient long-term storage.

Hydrogen liquefaction process requires compressing and cooling, consuming about a third of the subsequently stored amount of energy. The developed technology for storing in special oil compound, which is abundant and inexpensive, as is magnesium powder itself, constitutes the much safer long-term solution superior to the existing very challenging gaseous and liquid-state storage technologies. This approach, employing heat-managed MgH2, which possesses sufficient volumetric and gravimetric density along with important advantages of thermal stability and operability at room temperatures, and thus impressive storage capacity, which is being further improved upon with the works currently underway.

Additionally increasing the actual storage capacity will be achieved by somewhat modifying/enhancing the basic MgH2 compound through alloying (for more rapidly sorbtive/desorbtive intermetallics), which mission is to be implemented as part of the R&D scope.