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Russian scientists come up with superior hydrogen storage material

Hydrogen is one of the best alternatives to gasoline, gas, and other fossil fuels

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. Krasnoyarsk researchers have come up with new material for hydrogen storage, the press office of Siberian Federal University (SFU) said. The material based on the magnesium hydride is capable of storing hydrogen in an amount of about 7% of its own weight and this is namely the record-breaking value of capacity for all similar materials. This breakthrough might be useful for creating hydrogen-powered automobiles.

Hydrogen is one of the best alternatives to gasoline, gas, and other fossil fuels. Nowadays, the most promising use for hydrogen is in fuel cell vehicles. However, the transportation of hydrogen carries with it many difficulties. First, it requires expensive and heavy tanks. Second, the whole procedure can be dangerous as the mixture of air and hydrogen is extremely flammable. Consequently, it was suggested to store hydrogen while transporting it in various storage mediums.

"Now, the most secure and effective solution is to apply hydride-forming metals capable of absorbing hydrogen. Out of all metals, magnesium is believed to be the most encouraging alternative. In the modern world, many scientists are involved in studying the possible creation of hydrogen accumulators based on magnesium hydride," said Grigory Churilov the study’s coauthor, SFU professor and research assistant at the Kirensky Institute of Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

According to theoretical estimations, magnesium can absorb hydrogen in amounts of up to 7.6% of its own mass. However, in most modern experiments, the capacity of magnesium hydride does not exceed 5-6 weight percents.

Krasnoyarsk researchers managed to boost this value by adding nickel and platinum to the magnesium hydride, they obtained a new material with advanced accumulation capability.

The scientists’ article has been published in the last volume of the SFU’s journal "Mathematics and Physics".