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Open Access Storing Renewable Energy in the Hydrogen Cycle

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An energy economy based on renewable energy requires massive energy storage, approx. half of the annual energy consumption. Therefore, the production of a synthetic energy carrier, e.g. hydrogen, is necessary. The hydrogen cycle, i.e. production of hydrogen from water by renewable energy, storage and use of hydrogen in fuel cells, combustion engines or turbines is a closed cycle. Electrolysis splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and represents a mature technology in the power range up to 100 kW. However, the major technological challenge is to build electrolyzers in the power range of several MW producing high purity hydrogen with a high efficiency. After the production of hydrogen, large scale and safe hydrogen storage is required. Hydrogen is stored either as a molecule or as an atom in the case of hydrides. The maximum volumetric hydrogen density of a molecular hydrogen storage is limited to the density of liquid hydrogen. In a complex hydride the hydrogen density is limited to 20 mass% and 150 kg/m3 which corresponds to twice the density of liquid hydrogen. Current research focuses on the investigation of new storage materials based on combinations of complex hydrides with amides and the understanding of the hydrogen sorption mechanism in order to better control the reaction for the hydrogen storage applications.

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Keywords: ELECTROLYSIS; ENERGY STORAGE; HYDRIDES; HYDROGEN; SYNTHETIC HYDROCARBONS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Materials for Renewable Energy (LMER), Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC), Basic Science Faculty (SB), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Valais/Wallis, Energypolis, Rue de l'Industrie 17, CP 440, CH-1951 Sion, Switzerland; EMPA Materials Science & Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland. [email protected] 2: Laboratory of Materials for Renewable Energy (LMER), Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC), Basic Science Faculty (SB), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Valais/Wallis, Energypolis, Rue de l'Industrie 17, CP 440, CH-1951 Sion, Switzerland; EMPA Materials Science & Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland 3: EMPA Materials Science & Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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