A New Method of Generating and Storing Hydrogen for Fuel Cell Applications

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Virginia Tech Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Current hydrogen technology relies on natural gas to generate the hydrogen and high pressure gas tanks to store the hydrogen. The new process illustrated here eliminates the negative aspects associated with these processes. Sodium borohydride, or any other metal hydride, is stored in solid form, thereby creating the most energy dense scenario as well as allowing for the use of current infrastructure. However, instead of using a precious metal catalyst, a cheap solid acid such as citric acid, is added to the metal hydride to regulate hydrogen production. With this method, a solid metal hydride/acid powder can be stored under low pressures until hydrogen is needed. At that point, water created from the fuel cells can be added in controlled amounts to the metal hydride/acid powder creating a controllable, humidified hydrogen flow perfect for fuel cell applications.

Materials Science, Fuel Cell, Hydrogen
Fuller, I.M., 2010. A New Method of Generating and Storing Hydrogen for Fuel Cell Applications. Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research, 4. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jumr.v4i0.1566