Modelling Hydrogen Storage in Nanoporous Materials for use in Aviation

  • Jessica Sharpe

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


There is a growing need for new sources of energy due to the rise in global energy demand, the decline in fossil fuels, and the increasing, negative consequences of climate change. Renewable energy resources are sustainable but they are also intermittent, meaning that they cannot supply energy on demand unless it is stored. Hydrogen is one potential chemical method of storing this energy; however, it has a very low energy density per unit volume, meaning that storage in low mass and volume containers can be problematic. One solution is to adsorb hydrogen onto highly porous materials.This thesis presents an improved methodology for analysing hydrogen adsorbed inside porous materials, and how it can be utilised to determine the potential use of storing hydrogen via physisorption for aviation. Preliminary studies are conducted on pressure and temperature dependencies of both the pore volume and the adsorbate density, and a comparison is also made between the utilisation of different Type 1 isotherms for the fractional filling of hydrogen, with the use of the Tόth equation resulting in the best quality of fit to the isotherms overall. The model is verified using inelastic neutron scattering and computer simulations.The model is then utilised to calculate the amount of hydrogen within a tank containing varying quantities of adsorbent, and comparing this to the amount of hydrogen that can be stored via direct compression at the same conditions. This is then expanded to be compared to alternative energy systems, and a preliminary investigation on the use of adsorbed hydrogen within aviation is conducted. The results show hydrogen adsorption to always have a higher energy density than compressed hydrogen up to a certain pressure, and for both to have a comparable energy density to battery storage at certain conditions, but not to standard jet fuels.
Date of Award31 Jan 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorTim Mays (Supervisor) & Andrew Burrows (Supervisor)

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