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Development of integrated advanced materials and processes for efficient hydrogen storage

Final Activity Report Summary - DIAMANTE (Development of integrated advanced materials and processes for efficient hydrogen storage)

The project represents a significant attempt to adopt a holistic multidisciplinary transfer of knowledge approach, addressing key issues related to hydrogen storage in solid materials such as new materials, novel analytical and characterisation tools and measurement techniques, storage processes, multiscale modelling using advanced numerical methods for optimal storage design, and development of related software tools. Special attention was paid to the enhancement of energy efficiency, storage kinetics, operating conditions and safety aspects of produced materials and to the process (tank) design. These have been integrated into end-use applications and computer-aided tools for process design and operation.

The above objectives have been achieved by promoting and implementing a well-structured ToK programme of 142 person-months between (i) academic partners (University of Western Macedonia (UOWM), Greece and Imperial College London, United Kingdom), with distinguished research activities in the areas of material science and engineering and development of optimisation-based methodologies, algorithms, mathematical models and tools for efficient processing systems, (ii) one high-tech SME (Process Systems Enterprise Ltd, United Kingdom) providing advanced modelling and simulation solutions to the energy, process and automation industries and (iii) one SME (HyStore Technologies Ltd, Cyprus) producing hydrogen storage materials and constructing novel pilot-scale hydrogen storage systems (tanks) and related instrumentation facilities. The strategic partnership has been realised through secondments of 142 person-months of early stage, experienced and more experienced researchers from the two academic groups to the two SME partners thus transferring and potentially transforming theoretical knowledge to an applicable level, in a view of solving real-life hydrogen storage problems. These researchers have also absorbed knowledge offered at the SMEs sites. Similarly, experienced researchers (and one non-scientific staff member) from the SME partners will be allocated to the two academic groups, thus promoting and enhancing an effective communication and technology transfer between research in academia and practical applications in the energy industry.

The results of the project include exchange of knowledge and technology transfer focusing on three major research themes which are further divided into a number of tasks. Research theme 1 focused on the development of solid stores addressing innovative H2 storage solutions. In parallel, new characterisation techniques and analysis have been systematically investigated thus providing the necessary supportive horizontal actions for the efficient development of breakthrough solutions. Theme 2 includes multi-scale modelling aspects where the synergistic benefits between material designs at experimental level have been studied simultaneously with the process modelling and design. On-line optimisation techniques have been developed to ensure the design of economically attractive materials and processes which can operate safely and efficiently. Computer-aided tools have been also developed to provide systematic assistance to engineers and scientists to take rigorous decisions and provide useful support to experimental work.

Finally, in research theme 3, scale-up demonstrations of the material production processes have been attempted resulting in the construction and testing of prototype tanks where the developed modelling tools have been employed to derive optimal tank design decisions. Finally, a detailed technical and feasibility study provided significant insights into the key factors affecting the commercialisation of such systems.