New, more compact hydrogen capture system discovered


Scientists at UCLouvain have succeeded in finding a new material that facilitates the storage of hydrogen, enabling its widespread use.

Hydrogen (H2) is the lightest chemical element currently known, making it the most promising energy solution, particularly as an environmentally friendly alternative for mobility (cars, trucks, boats) as well as stationary applications (storage of intermittent renewable energy, heavy industry, etc.).

The major obstacle to its large-scale use that scientists are encountering today is hydrogen's high density, which makes storage very complicated. For example, compressed H2 requires high pressure, while liquid hydrogen requires extremely low temperatures (-253°C). So what's the solution? Using porous materials, capable of attaching hydrogen molecules to the surface of molecular pores, reducing the required pressure and increasing storage temperature.

In this context, a team of international scientists, led by Yaroslav Filinchuk, a Professor at the UCLouvain School of Chemistry, is significantly pushing the boundaries of the volumetric density of hydrogen in porous materials. They discovered that a porous form of magnesium borohydride is capable of storing a density over twice as high as that of liquid hydrogen.

This major discovery paves the way for the compact storage and transport of hydrogen as a clean, renewable source of energy for hydrogen-powered cars, for example.