APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Hydrogen storage
- Fuel cells
- Exceeds DOE 2017 gravimetric and ultimate full-fleet volumetric targets for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
- Minimal added mass with enhanced hydrogen absorption/desorption
- Scalable synthesis
A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Jeff Urban has developed an environmentally stable material with exceptionally dense hydrogen storage properties, opening up applications in fuel cells, batteries, and energetic materials.
The material – a multilaminate composite of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sheets filled with magnesium (Mg) nanocrystals – is prepared using a straightforward, solution-based reduction method. This is the first air-stable zero-valent alkali or alkali-earth metal nanocrystal with atomic-limit of thin graphitic encapsulating layers to be developed. The rGO layers act as a protective layer, allow easy hydrogen penetration, and enhance H2 absorption/desorption while simultaneously minimizing inactive mass and preventing the degradation of the Mg nanocrystals.
While commitment to hydrogen fueled cars is growing, technologies for safe, solid-state hydrogen storage with ample reversible storage capacity remain elusive. Compressed hydrogen tanks cannot meet long-term storage targets, and they limit vehicle occupancy. Metal hydrides offer advantages in terms of capacity and operating requirements but have demonstrated oxidative instability and sluggish kinetics.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Cho, E. S., Ruminski, A. M., Aloni, S., Liu, Y.-S., Guo, J., Urban, J. J. “Graphene oxide/metal nanocrystal multilaminates as the atomic limit for safe and selective hydrogen storage,” Nature Communications, 7, February 23, 2016.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle. Hydrogen absorption capacity of 6.5 wt% and 0.105 kg H2/L in the total composite, and 7.56 wt% H2 in Mg nanocrystals have been demonstrated.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
REFERENCE NUMBER: 2015-017