Ethylene suggested for hydrogen storage

December 08, 2006

Ethylene, a ho-hum material that is the building block of the most common plastic, might have an exciting future in storing hydrogen, the hoped-for transportation fuel of the future. New research reported by scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Turkey's Bilkent University makes the surprising prediction that "ethylene, a well-known inexpensive molecule, can be an important basis in developing frameworks for efficient and safe hydrogen-storage media."

The team's calculations show that attaching titanium atoms at opposite ends of an ethylene molecule (four hydrogen atoms bound to a pair of carbon atoms) will result in a very attractive "two for" deal. The addition of the two metal atoms results in a net gain of up to 10 hydrogen molecules that can absorb onto the ethylene-titanium complex, for a total of 20 hydrogen atoms. As important, the engineered material is predicted to release the hydrogen with only a modest amount of heating.

The absorbed hydrogen molecules account for about 14 percent of the weight of the titanium-ethylene complex. That's about double the Department of Energy's minimum target of 6.5 percent for economically practical storage of hydrogen in a solid state material. Although significant challenges stand in the way, solid state storage is preferred to storing hydrogen as a liquid or compressed gas, both of which require large-volume tanks.

"The success of future hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies is critically dependent upon the discovery of new materials that can store large amounts of hydrogen at ambient conditions," explains Taner Yildirim, a theorist at the NIST Center for Neutron Research.

Yildirim and collaborators have been searching for routes to develop these needed materials. Their earlier research has pointed to several candidates, including carbon nanotubes coated with titanium atoms. Difficulties in securing bulk amounts of small-diameter nanotubes and other challenges have foiled efforts to create these materials in the laboratory.

The team anticipates that ethylene-based complexes, made with titanium or other so-called transition metals, will prove easier to synthesize and, then, to evaluate for their potential for high-capacity hydrogen storage.
-end-
*E. Durgun, S. Ciraci, W. Zhou, and T. Yildirim. Transition-metal-ethylene complexes as high-capacity hydrogen-storage media. Physical Review Letters. 97, 226102 (2006)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Hydrogen Articles from Brightsurf:

Solar hydrogen: let's consider the stability of photoelectrodes
As part of an international collaboration, a team at the HZB has examined the corrosion processes of high-quality BiVO4 photoelectrodes using different state-of-the-art characterisation methods.

Hydrogen vehicles might soon become the global norm
Roughly one billion cars and trucks zoom about the world's roadways.

Hydrogen economy with mass production of high-purity hydrogen from ammonia
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has made an announcement about the technology to extract high-purity hydrogen from ammonia and generate electric power in conjunction with a fuel cell developed by a team led by Young Suk Jo and Chang Won Yoon from the Center for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research.

Superconductivity: It's hydrogen's fault
Last summer, it was discovered that there are promising superconductors in a special class of materials, the so-called nickelates.

Hydrogen energy at the root of life
A team of international researchers in Germany, France and Japan is making progress on answering the question of the origin of life.

Hydrogen alarm for remote hydrogen leak detection
Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague proposed new sensors based on widely available optical fiber to ensure accurate detection of hydrogen molecules in the air.

Preparing for the hydrogen economy
In a world first, University of Sydney researchers have found evidence of how hydrogen causes embrittlement of steels.

Hydrogen boride nanosheets: A promising material for hydrogen carrier
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Tsukuba, and colleagues in Japan report a promising hydrogen carrier in the form of hydrogen boride nanosheets.

World's fastest hydrogen sensor could pave the way for clean hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy carrier that can power vehicles, with water as the only emission.

Chemical hydrogen storage system
Hydrogen is a highly attractive, but also highly explosive energy carrier, which requires safe, lightweight and cheap storage as well as transportation systems.

Read More: Hydrogen News and Hydrogen Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.