Novel Nanocomposites for Hydrogen Storage Applications


Acronym: NANOHY
Title: Novel Nanocomposites for Hydrogen Storage Applications
Status: Active
Funding Organization: European Commission

FP7 Project Number/Grant Agreement: 210092



Leader in charge: G. Charalambopoulou
Start Date: 1/1/2008
Duration: 45 months

Summary One of the critical challenges for the acceptance and generic use of hydrogen as energy carrier concerns its efficient storage. Traditional technologies (compressed gas or cryogenic liquid) have inherent limitations and thus it is commonly accepted that the only potential solution is connected with storing hydrogen in solid materials that must have at least 8-10 wt.% H gravimetric storage capacity to satisfy the targets set by the automobile industry. A number of hydride compounds with hydrogen contents in this range or higher have been synthesized up to now, however fully satisfactory materials have not been identified yet as they exhibit severe drawbacks which prevent the technical application of the materials in connection with a fuel cell system. The main problem relates to the thermodynamic properties of the pure hydride phases which are too stable (decomposition usually) requires temperatures higher than 200 °C.

Aiming to respond to the above challenges, the main objective of NANOHY project is to combine the latest developments in the metal hydride field with nanotechnological methods towards the development of novel nanocomposites with tailorable thermodynamic properties, consisting of hydride  particles in the lower nanometer range which are protected by a nanocarbon template or by self-assembled polymer layers in order to prevent agglomeration. In this way it is possible to reduce working temperature and pressure, to enhance the reversibility, and to control the interaction between the hydride and the environment, leading to improved safety properties. The composites are being synthesized out of novel complex hydrides with very high hydrogen content (such as boranates and amides) and nanocarbon templates. Alternatively, hydride colloids will be coated in a Layer-by-Layer self-assembling process of dedicated polymers.

The group from the National Centre for Scientific Research Demokritos participating in NANOHY has a major role in the development but also the characterisation of both the carbon scaffolds and the nanocomposites, as well as a significant contribution to the activities related to the study of the hydrogen storage-release capacities, kinetics, thermodynamics and cyclability of the new materials.