Optimizing the Binding Energy of Hydrogen on Nanostructured Carbon Materials through Structure Control and Chemical Doping

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The DOE Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence (HSCoE) was formed in 2005 to develop materials for hydrogen storage systems to be used in light-duty vehicles. The HSCoE and two related centers of excellence were created as follow-on activities to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Hydrogen Storage Grand Challenge Solicitation issued in FY 2003. The Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence (HSCoE) focuses on developing high-capacity sorbents with the goal to operate at temperatures and pressures approaching ambient and be efficiently and quickly charged in the tank with minimal energy requirements and penalties to the hydrogen fuel ... continued below

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Liu, Jie February 1, 2011.

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The DOE Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence (HSCoE) was formed in 2005 to develop materials for hydrogen storage systems to be used in light-duty vehicles. The HSCoE and two related centers of excellence were created as follow-on activities to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Hydrogen Storage Grand Challenge Solicitation issued in FY 2003. The Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence (HSCoE) focuses on developing high-capacity sorbents with the goal to operate at temperatures and pressures approaching ambient and be efficiently and quickly charged in the tank with minimal energy requirements and penalties to the hydrogen fuel infrastructure. The work was directed at overcoming barriers to achieving DOE system goals and identifying pathways to meet the hydrogen storage system targets. To ensure that the development activities were performed as efficiently as possible, the HSCoE formed complementary, focused development clusters based on the following four sorption-based hydrogen storage mechanisms: 1. Physisorption on high specific surface area and nominally single element materials 2. Enhanced H2 binding in Substituted/heterogeneous materials 3. Strong and/or multiple H2 binding from coordinated but electronically unsatruated metal centers 4. Weak Chemisorption/Spillover. As a member of the team, our group at Duke studied the synthesis of various carbon-based materials, including carbon nanotubes and microporous carbon materials with controlled porosity. We worked closely with other team members to study the effect of pore size on the binding energy of hydrogen to the carbon –based materials. Our initial project focus was on the synthesis and purification of small diameter, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with well-controlled diameters for the study of their hydrogen storage properties as a function of diameters. We developed a chemical vapor deposition method that synthesized gram quantities of carbon nanotubes with average diameter size at less than 1 nm. However, initial tests performed at our collaborator’s lab at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) did not indicate improved hydrogen sorption properties for the smaller-diameter nanotubes (compared with other types of nanotubes). As work continued, the difficulties in purification, large-scale synthesis, and stability of small diameter SWNTs became a major concern. In 2008, the Department of Energy (DOE) made a no-go decision on future applied R&D investment in pure, undoped, single-walled carbon nanotubes for vehicular hydrogen storage.2 The second phase of the project involved developing a low-cost and scalable approach for the synthesis of microporous carbon materials with well-controlled pore sizes that would be suitable for hydrogen storage. The team studied several approaches, including the use of different zeolites as a template, the use of organic micelle structures as a template, and the slow oxidation of polymer precursors. Among them, the slow activation of Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) under either CO2 environment or H2O vapor produced microporous carbon with an average pore size of less than 2 nm. Initial testing at 77K at both NREL and the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) showed that these materials can store ~5.1 wt% hydrogen (excess) at 40 bar and 77K. The main feature to note with this material is that while the excess gravimetric capacities (>5 wt% at 77K) and specific surface areas (>3100 m2/g) are similar to AX-21 and other “super activated” commercial carbon sorbents at the same temperatures and pressures, due to the smaller pore sizes, bulk densities greater than 0.7 g/ml can be achieved, enabling excess volumetric capacities greater than 35 g/L; more than double that of AX-21.

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  • Report No.: DOE/GO/15103-1
  • Grant Number: FC36-05GO15103
  • DOI: 10.2172/1004174 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1004174
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846970

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • February 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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Liu, Jie. Optimizing the Binding Energy of Hydrogen on Nanostructured Carbon Materials through Structure Control and Chemical Doping, report, February 1, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846970/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.