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QuantumSphere and University of South Florida Exceed 2010 DOE Goals for Solid State Hydrogen Storage

Material capacity vs. temperature in developing hydrogen storage systems. Source: DOE. Click to enlarge.

QuantumSphere, Inc. and the University of South Florida announced that they have exceeded the 2010 Department of Energy (DOE) goals for solid state hydrogen storage.

In a two-year materials discovery program funded by QuantumSphere, Inc., Professor Elias Stefanakos, director of the Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) at the University of South Florida, and Research Associate Dr. Sesha Srinivasan (currently an assistant professor at Tuskegee University), developed complex metal hydrides doped with QuantumSphere’s nano-Nickel particles.

2010 Technical Targets
  • Volumetric H2 density, > 45g H2/L
  • Gravimetric H2 density, > 6.0 wt.%
  • Operating temperature, -30/50 °C
  • Delivery T of H2, -40/80 °C
  • Cycle life, 1000 cycles
  • Fast absorption/desorption rates
  • These materials have a 6-8 wt% reversible hydrogen capacity below 150 °C. This compares to the 6 wt% system efficiency target set by the DOE, as this is believed to be the threshold at which hydrogen can be economically stored as a solid. These results have been confirmed independently by the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

    More specifically, the USF team developed and demonstrated:

    • Reversible hydrogen storage in complex multinary hydrides (LiBH4/LiNH2/MgH2)

    • Lowering the hydrogen decomposition temperature of novel complex borohydrides Zn(BH4)2

    • Reversible hydrogen storage behavior of nano-MgH2 destabilized Li-Mn-B-H systems

    These materials exhibit a hydrogen capacity of > 6-8wt.% and are completely reversible at moderate temperatures (30-200 °C). The breakthrough for hydrogen storage in the complex multinary hydrides is based on an innovative manufacturing method, involving the destabilization of the quaternary hydride structure Li-B-N-H with nanocrystalline MgH2. The team lowered the hydrogen decomposition temperature (below 150 °C) by doping the complex hydrides with transition metal nanoparticles (e.g. Ni, Co, Fe, 3-10 nm, patented and manufactured by QuantumSphere Inc).

    The project received significant financial support over the past three years from the US Department of Energy through a cross-cutting DOE grant awarded to Drs. Elias Stefanakos and Yogi Goswami.




    Does it exceed economic goals too?


    "This compares to the 6 wt% system efficiency target set by the DOE, as this is believed to be the threshold at which hydrogen can be economically stored as a solid."

    This has merit, what it costs is another matter. If the tank pressures and costs are reduced, it could make up for the nano material costs, at least partially by reducing the tank costs, compressor costs and compression losses.


    So you will need more Lithium to store 4 Kgs of hydrogen than to make a battery that will give you 300 miles of range. Nice and you also need 10g of Pt for the fuel cell, and 20kg of neodymium for the permanent magnet of the motor. pfff, our civilization is really at the point of diminishing returns


    Let's see CNG at 3600 psi means about 198 grams per liter.

    That means:

    25% hydrogen by weight (CH4 is 25% hydrogen)
    49.5 grams (hydrogen) per liter


    QuantumSphere was the company that announced 80% efficiency for the electrolysis of water to H2. Hydrogen has its place, but if they are going to use it for transportation, they will need to make it close to the point of distribution and store it more effectively.

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