Researchers at Deakin University in Australia have managed to store hydrogen in powder form, which is both easier and safer to transport. It is possible at any time to restore the gaseous appearance by simply heating this powder. This discovery could upset the entire industry and open up new development prospects for so-called clean energies.
This new process is described in the scientific journal Materials today. And since it involves separating, storing and transporting large quantities of gas safely and without waste, this technique could be perfectly adapted to hydrogen.
Here the researchers succeeded in perfecting an original and unprecedented technique for separating and storing gases. For this they used boron nitride powder, which has a very high absorption capacity. During the process, this powder is placed in a grinder containing small stainless steel balls. The collision of these balls with the powder and the wall of the chamber then triggers a mechanical-chemical reaction which gradually leads to the absorption of gas by the powder. Note that this solution does not require harsh chemicals and does not create by-products.
Once incorporated into this material, the gas can then be transported easily and safely. It is then sufficient to heat the powder under vacuum to release the gas in a perfectly unchanged form.
Such a process theoretically makes it possible to store hydrogen (or other gases) anywhere and use it as quickly as needed. The success of this method has so far only been demonstrated in the laboratory. The next step will therefore be to validate it with industry to develop practical applications.
As a reminder, the current method of storing hydrogen consists of using a high-pressure tank or even cooling the gas to its liquid form. However, these methods involve relatively hazardous processes and chemicals.
(ETX Daily Up)