Theories for Nanomaterials to Realize a Sustainable Future

Authored by: Rodion V. Belosludov , Natarajan S. Venkataramanan , Hiroshi Mizuseki , Oleg S. Subbotin , Ryoji Sahara , Vladimir R. Belosludov , Yoshiyuki Kawazoe

1 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075403
eBook ISBN: 9781420075410
Adobe ISBN:


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The present environmental factors and limited energy resources have led to a profound evolution in the way we view the generation, storage, and supply of energy. Although fossil fuel and nuclear energy will remain the most important sources of energy for many more years, flexible technological solutions that involve alternative means of energy supply and storage are in urgent need of development. The search for cleaner, cheaper, smaller, and more efficient energy technologies has been driven by recent developments in materials science and engineering (Lubitz and Tumas 2007). To meet the storage challenge, basic research is needed to identify new materials and to address a host of associated performance-and system-related issues. These issues include operating pressure and temperature; the durability of the storage material; the requirements for hydrogen purity imposed by the fuel cell; the reversibility of hydrogen uptake and release; the refueling conditions of rate and time; the hydrogen delivery pressure; and overall safety, toxicity, and system efficiency and cost. No material available today comes close to meeting all the requirements for the onboard storage of hydrogen for supplying hydrogen as a fuel for a fuel cell/electric vehicle (Schlapbach and Züttel 2004). There are several candidate groups for storage materials, each with positive and negative attributes. The traditional hydrides have excellent H-volume storage capacity, good and tunable kinetics and reversibility, but poor H-storage by weight. Highly porous carbon and hybrid materials have the capability of high mass storage capacity, but since molecular hydrogen is required to be stored, they can only work at cryogenic conditions. The light metal alloys have the required mass density but poor kinetics and high absorption temperatures/pressures. The complex hydrides undergo chemical reactions during desorption/adsorption, thus limiting kinetics and reversibility of storage. Hence, research on adequate H-storage materials remains a challenge, in particular for the vehicle transportation sector.

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