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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Boron-nitrogen based materials for hydrogen storage


Hydrogen economy promises environmentally clean fuel cell power based on abundant and sustainable energy resources. Hydrogen storage has been identified as a bottleneck of the hydrogen economy. Our research will be focused on novel materials for hydrogen storage. In the past, we recognized that materials based on boron (B) and nitrogen (N) provide favourable volumetric and gravimetric hydrogen (H) densities, and display promising thermodynamics for hydrogen release. Unfortunately, little is known about how these materials release hydrogen from the solid state and what factors control the reactivity and selectivity of product distribution. Computational methods of chemistry and solid state physics will be employed, to develop fundamental understanding of the key chemical and physical properties that control the thermochemistry and kinetics of the molecular processes related to hydrogen release and uptake in the BNH-type compounds.

This research will result in knowledge that will lead to the development of new materials that release and absorb hydrogen at moderate temperatures and pressures. The requested funding will facilitate the reintegration of Dr Maciej Gutowski, previously at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the US, with European research. Dr Gutowski has just become a professor of theoretical chemistry at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. While at PNNL, Dr Gutowski led projects on hydrogen storage funded by the US Department of Energy.

The proposed International Reintegration project will provide avenues to:
(i) transfer his knowledge on materials for hydrogen storage, and contribute to European research;
(ii) develop lasting cooperation with leading US research groups working on materials for hydrogen storage; and
(iii) teach and train European postgraduate students how quantum and statistical methods of chemistry and solid state physics might contribute to solutions of technologically important problems.

Call for proposal

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