Design of a Nanometric AlTi Additive for MgB2-Based Reactive Hydride Composites with Superior Kinetic Properties


Solid-state hydride compounds are a promising option for efficient and safe hydrogen-storage systems. Lithium reactive hydride composite system 2LiBH4 + MgH2/2LiH + MgB2 (Li-RHC) has been widely investigated owing to its high theoretical hydrogen-storage capacity and low calculated reaction enthalpy (11.5 wt % H2 and 45.9 kJ/mol H2). In this paper, a thorough investigation into the effect of the formation of nano-TiAl alloys on the hydrogen-storage properties of Li-RHC is presented. The additive 3TiCl3·AlCl3 is used as the nanoparticle precursor. For the investigated temperatures and hydrogen pressures, the addition of ∼5 wt % 3TiCl3·AlCl3 leads to hydrogenation/dehydrogenation times of only 30 min and a reversible hydrogen-storage capacity of 9.5 wt %. The material containing 3TiCl3·AlCl3 possesses superior hydrogen-storage properties in terms of rates and a stable hydrogen capacity during several hydrogenation/dehydrogenation cycles. These enhancements are attributed to an in situ nanostructure and a hexagonal AlTi3 phase observed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. This phase acts in a 2-fold manner, first promoting the nucleation of MgB2 upon dehydrogenation and second suppressing the formation of Li2B12H12 upon hydrogenation/dehydrogenation cycling.
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