LMC starts Hydrogen Storage project
cooperation with the R&D department of RSP Technology and the Technical
University of Eindhoven, the LMC will start a feasibility study looking into the
possibilities of the production of Mg-alloys suitable for hydrogen storage for
mobile applications. These alloys will be produced with the meltspinning
Hydrogen is among the best alternatives to petroleum as an energy
carrier for future applications. It is non polluting and can be produced from
renewable energy sources, like solar- and wind-energy.
The success of a
hydrogen economy depends on the development of safe and cost-effective hydrogen
storage systems (H2 “petrol” tanks). Of the known methods for hydrogen storage
(H2 gas in tank, H2 liquid in tank or H2 as a metal hydride), metal hydrides
offer the best compromise weighing both safety and cost. Metals are capable of
absorbing large amounts of hydrogen, which can be desorbed from the metal at a
later stage when the energy is needed for the fuel cell or the combustion
For an electric car with a fuel cell on board, about 45,000 litre of
H2 is needed to drive about 400 Km distance. The tank should be the size of a
balloon with a diameter of 5 meters. To put 45,000 litres H2 in a metal Hydride
tank, the size will be that of a normal car (about 70 litres).
In the form of
pressured gas at 200 bar the tank needs to be 225 litre, in a liquid form H2
needs to be cooled down to -252C, the tank size will still be about 90 litre.
Magnesium is an excellent hydrogen storage medium since it can store about 7.7
wt. % hydrogen, more than any other metal or alloy. However, the absorption/desorption
of hydrogen in magnesium is very slow, and a catalyst is needed to accelerate
the reaction. The goal is set to refuel a passenger car in 3-4 minutes. At the
moment a lot of research is done to create the right Mg alloy to be used in
combination with a good production technology. Amorphous Mg-alloys have the best
change, they can be produced by rapid solidification techniques similar to those
present at the LMC.
Part of the feasibility study will be the selection of the
Alloy composition as well as the preferred micro-structure. First results will
be presented before the end of the year.