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Theoretical Studies of Hydrogen Storage Alloys.

Description: Theoretical calculations were carried out to search for lightweight alloys that can be used to reversibly store hydrogen in mobile applications, such as automobiles. Our primary focus was on magnesium based alloys. While MgH{sub 2} is in many respects a promising hydrogen storage material, there are two serious problems which need to be solved in order to make it useful: (i) the binding energy of the hydrogen atoms in the hydride is too large, causing the release temperature to be too high, and (ii) the diffusion of hydrogen through the hydride is so slow that loading of hydrogen into the metal takes much too long. In the first year of the project, we found that the addition of ca. 15% of aluminum decreases the binding energy to the hydrogen to the target value of 0.25 eV which corresponds to release of 1 bar hydrogen gas at 100 degrees C. Also, the addition of ca. 15% of transition metal atoms, such as Ti or V, reduces the formation energy of interstitial H-atoms making the diffusion of H-atoms through the hydride more than ten orders of magnitude faster at room temperature. In the second year of the project, several calculations of alloys of magnesium with various other transition metals were carried out and systematic trends in stability, hydrogen binding energy and diffusivity established. Some calculations of ternary alloys and their hydrides were also carried out, for example of Mg{sub 6}AlTiH{sub 16}. It was found that the binding energy reduction due to the addition of aluminum and increased diffusivity due to the addition of a transition metal are both effective at the same time. This material would in principle work well for hydrogen storage but it is, unfortunately, unstable with respect to phase separation. A search was made for a ternary alloy of ...
Date: March 22, 2012
Creator: Jonsson, Hannes
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department