Chemical Hydride Slurry for Hydrogen Production and Storage

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The purpose of this project was to investigate and evaluate the attractiveness of using a magnesium chemical hydride slurry as a hydrogen storage, delivery, and production medium for automobiles. To fully evaluate the potential for magnesium hydride slurry to act as a carrier of hydrogen, potential slurry compositions, potential hydrogen release techniques, and the processes (and their costs) that will be used to recycle the byproducts back to a high hydrogen content slurry were evaluated. A 75% MgH2 slurry was demonstrated, which was just short of the 76% goal. This slurry is pumpable and storable for months at a time ... continued below

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101.8MB, 434 pages, 191 figures

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McClaine, Andrew W. September 30, 2008.

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Description

The purpose of this project was to investigate and evaluate the attractiveness of using a magnesium chemical hydride slurry as a hydrogen storage, delivery, and production medium for automobiles. To fully evaluate the potential for magnesium hydride slurry to act as a carrier of hydrogen, potential slurry compositions, potential hydrogen release techniques, and the processes (and their costs) that will be used to recycle the byproducts back to a high hydrogen content slurry were evaluated. A 75% MgH2 slurry was demonstrated, which was just short of the 76% goal. This slurry is pumpable and storable for months at a time at room temperature and pressure conditions and it has the consistency of paint. Two techniques were demonstrated for reacting the slurry with water to release hydrogen. The first technique was a continuous mixing process that was tested for several hours at a time and demonstrated operation without external heat addition. Further work will be required to reduce this design to a reliable, robust system. The second technique was a semi-continuous process. It was demonstrated on a 2 kWh scale. This system operated continuously and reliably for hours at a time, including starts and stops. This process could be readily reduced to practice for commercial applications. The processes and costs associated with recycling the byproducts of the water/slurry reaction were also evaluated. This included recovering and recycling the oils of the slurry, reforming the magnesium hydroxide and magnesium oxide byproduct to magnesium metal, hydriding the magnesium metal with hydrogen to form magnesium hydride, and preparing the slurry. We found that the SOM process, under development by Boston University, offers the lowest cost alternative for producing and recycling the slurry. Using the H2A framework, a total cost of production, delivery, and distribution of $4.50/kg of hydrogen delivered or $4.50/gge was determined. Experiments performed at Boston University have demonstrated the technical viability of the process and have provided data for the cost analyses that have been performed. We also concluded that a carbothermic process could also produce magnesium at acceptable costs. The use of slurry as a medium to carry chemical hydrides has been shown during this project to offer significant advantages for storing, delivering, and distributing hydrogen: • Magnesium hydride slurry is stable for months and pumpable. • The oils of the slurry minimize the contact of oxygen and moisture in the air with the metal hydride in the slurry. Thus reactive chemicals, such as lithium hydride, can be handled safely in the air when encased in the oils of the slurry. • Though magnesium hydride offers an additional safety feature of not reacting readily with water at room temperatures, it does react readily with water at temperatures above the boiling point of water. Thus when hydrogen is needed, the slurry and water are heated until the reaction begins, then the reaction energy provides heat for more slurry and water to be heated. • The reaction system can be relatively small and light and the slurry can be stored in conventional liquid fuel tanks. When transported and stored, the conventional liquid fuel infrastructure can be used. • The particular metal hydride of interest in this project, magnesium hydride, forms benign byproducts, magnesium hydroxide (“Milk of Magnesia”) and magnesium oxide. • We have estimated that a magnesium hydride slurry system (including the mixer device and tanks) could meet the DOE 2010 energy density goals.  During the investigation of hydriding techniques, we learned that magnesium hydride in a slurry can also be cycled in a rechargeable fashion. Thus, magnesium hydride slurry can act either as a chemical hydride storage medium or as a rechargeable hydride storage system. Hydrogen can be stored and delivered and then stored again thus significantly reducing the cost of storing and delivering hydrogen. Further evaluation and development of this concept will be performed as follow-on work under another project. However, since the cost of reducing magnesium from magnesium oxide makes up 85% of the cost of the slurry, if hydrogen can be stored many times in the slurry, then the cost of storing hydrogen can be spread over many units of hydrogen and can be significantly reduced from the costs of a chemical hydride system. This may be the most important finding of this project.  If the slurry is used to carry a rechargeable hydride, the slurry can be stored in a conventional liquid fuel tank and delivered to a release system as hydrogen is needed. The release system will contain only the hydride needed to produce the hydrogen desired. This is in contrast to conventional designs proposed for other rechargeable hydride systems that store all the hydride in a large and heavy pressure and heat transfer vessel.

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101.8MB, 434 pages, 191 figures

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  • Report No.: Final Report DE-FC36-04GO14011-18.pdf
  • Grant Number: FC36-04GO14011
  • DOI: 10.2172/940573 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 940573
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895142

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  • September 30, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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McClaine, Andrew W. Chemical Hydride Slurry for Hydrogen Production and Storage, report, September 30, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895142/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.