The enormous issue of storing and transporting hydrogen as fuel has a rather straightforward answer, according to researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Catalysis. A method of storing hydrogen in solid salts is shared by the researchers in a study that was just published in the American Chemical Society Central Science.
Hydrogen wonderfully fills the need for on-demand, pollution-free energy generation in the modern world. By employing oxygen from the air to burn the fuel under control, water is produced as a byproduct. If renewable energies are utilised, the process of producing the fuel itself can be emission-free.
How to store hydrogen fuel?
Being a highly combustible gas, hydrogen can be difficult to handle in big quantities. It must be carried to the fuelling stations that will be built in the future in order to be used as fuel. In an effort to make it liquefy like natural gas, researchers have tried.
The U.S. Department of Energy website states that extremely low temperatures of minus 423 Fahrenheit (-253 degree C) are needed to convert hydrogen gas into its liquid state. Additionally, it necessitates the use of high-pressure vessels that can handle, all of which raise the price of using the fuel and render it unprofitable for the market.
The U.S. Department of Energy website states that extremely low temperatures of minus 423 Fahrenheit (-253oC) are needed to convert hydrogen gas into its liquid state. Additionally, it necessitates the use of high-pressure vessels that can handle, all of which raise the price of using the fuel and render it unprofitable for the market.
The alternative choice is to keep hydrogen in salts solid. The process is reversible, which allows the salts to be employed once more to store additional hydrogen, making it a cyclic process. The technique’s drawback, however, is that carbon dioxide is produced throughout the process and precious metals are used as catalysts.
German researchers solve the problem
Researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Catalysis investigated the issue and created an energy storage and release system employing carbonate and bicarbonate salts, utilising metal manganese as well, which is more generally available.
The scientists discovered that potassium in the presence of manganese as a catalyst was most effective in converting bicarbonate and hydrogen into formate—the salt of formic acid.
It’s interesting to note that the amino acid, lysine, which is a part of proteins in biological systems, promoted the process and worked to capture carbon dioxide and stop it from escaping. Less heated than a pot of boiling water, the reaction temperature for the procedure stays below 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius).
Their study’s findings demonstrated that the approach produced a high yield of hydrogen at 80% after five cycles. More significantly, the hydrogen that was released was 99.9% pure, preparing the path for its deployment in commercial applications. The yield of the hydrogen rose to 94 percent when glutamic acid was added to the procedure.
The research was published in the journal ACS Central Science.