In recent years, hydrogen has emerged as a leading candidate as a sustainable energy vector as it is abundant, relatively easy to produce and produces only water upon its complete oxidation (hence its classification as a zero carbon fuel). It also has the highest gravimetric energy density of any known chemical fuel. However, because elemental hydrogen under standard conditions is a very low density gas, its volumetric energy density is very low, and therefore storing sufficient quantities of hydrogen in reasonable volumes has proven to be a barrier to commercialisation. The current industrial standard is the use of compression; namely, the pressurisation of hydrogen gas up to 70 MPa. Whilst this technique has proven effective, it poses an inherent safety risk, has a high energy penalty, and requires expensive materials to contain the pressure whilst minimising system weight. One other technique that has gained interest within the research community is adsorption. This technique uses the interaction between gas molecules and the large surface areas of nanoporous materials in order to densify hydrogen at lower pressures.
This work will focus on two particular nanoporous materials: the polymer of intrinsic microporosity PIM-1; and the metal organic framework (MOF) known as MIL-101. PIM-1 is a highly interesting nanoporous material as the microporosity arises as a by-product of the rigid, contorted molecular chains, and the polymer is fully soluble in polar aprotic solvents such as chloroform and tetrahydrofuran [1]. As a result, PIM-1 can be solvent cast into flexible microporous films into a material that could be very suitable for use as a liner in a hydrogen storage tank. However, PIM-1 is a relatively limited gas storage material, showing a BET surface area of ~700 m2 g-1, and a hydrogen uptake of 1.45 wt% at 10 bar and 77 K [2]. This work looks to create a better hydrogen storage liner by incorporating the high surface area (~3000 m2 g-1 [3]) MOF MIL-101 into a flexible liner material with high hydrogen uptake.
The studies presented primarily involve the synthesis and adsorption characterisation of the separate PIM-1 and MIL-101 materials, before the creation and analysis of a series of composites. These studies also feature modelling of the adsorption studies to predict the hydrogen stored in tanks featuring this material [3]. These composites show good potential as practical and effective hydrogen storage materials.
[1] Budd et al. Adv. Mater.; 2004; 16:456 -9.
[2] McKeown et al. Macromol. Rapid Commun. 2007, 28:995–1002.
[3] Sharpe et al. Adsorption; 2013; 19:643-52.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 16 Nov 2016
EventU4C Colloquium - University of Campinas, Brazil , Campinas, Brazil
Duration: 16 Nov 201619 Nov 2016


ConferenceU4C Colloquium


  • hydrogen
  • adsorption
  • PIM
  • MOF
  • Composite
  • storage


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