Tetrahydroborates: Development and Potential as Hydrogen Storage Medium


The use of fossil fuels as an energy supply becomes increasingly problematic from the point of view of both environmental emissions and energy sustainability. As an alternative, hydrogen is widely regarded as a key element for a potential energy solution. However, different from fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal, the production of hydrogen requires energy. Alternative and intermittent renewable sources such as solar power, wind power, etc., present multiple advantages for the production of hydrogen. On one hand, the renewable sources contribute to a remarkable reduction of pollutants released to the air. On the other hand, they significantly enhance the sustainability of energy supply. In addition, the storage of energy in form of hydrogen has a huge potential to balance an effective and synergetic utilization of the renewable energy sources. In this regard, hydrogen storage technology presents a key roadblock towards the practical application of hydrogen as “energy carrier”. Among the methods available to store hydrogen, solid-state storage is the most attractive alternative both from the safety and the volumetric energy density points of view. Because of their appealing hydrogen content, complex hydrides and complex hydride-based systems have attracted considerable attention as potential energy vectors for mobile and stationary applications. In this review, the progresses made over the last century on the development in the synthesis and research on the decomposition reactions of homoleptic tetrahydroborates is summarized. Furthermore, theoretical and experimental investigations on the thermodynamic and kinetic tuning of tetrahydroborates for hydrogen storage purposes are herein reviewed.
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