Nanoconfinement effects on hydrogen storage properties of MgH2 and LiBH4


To find a solution to efficiently exploit renewable energy sources is a key step to achieve complete independence from fossil fuel energy sources. Hydrogen is considered by many as a suitable energy vector for efficiently exploiting intermittent and unevenly distributed renewable energy sources. However, although the production of hydrogen from renewable energy sources is technically feasible, the storage of large quantities of hydrogen is challenging. Comparing to conventional compressed and cryogenic hydrogen storage, the solid-state storage of hydrogen shows many advantages in terms of safety and volumetric energy density. Among the materials available to store hydrogen, metal hydrides and complex metal hydrides have been extensively investigated due to their appealing hydrogen storage properties. Among several potentials candidates, magnesium hydride (MgH2) and lithium borohydride (LiBH4) have been widely recognized as promising solid-state hydrogen storage materials. However, before considering these hydrides ready for real-scale applications, the issue of their high thermodynamic stability and of their poor hydrogenation/dehydrogenation kinetics must be solved. An approach to modify the hydrogen storage properties of these hydrides is nanoconfinement. This review summarizes and discusses recent findings on the use of porous scaffolds as nanostructured tools for improving the thermodynamics and kinetics of MgH2 and LiBH4.
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