Transformation Kinetics of LiBH4–MgH2 for Hydrogen Storage


The reactive hydride composite (RHC) LiBH4–MgH2 is regarded as one of the most promising materials for hydrogen storage. Its extensive application is so far limited by its poor dehydrogenation kinetics, due to the hampered nucleation and growth process of MgB2. Nevertheless, the poor kinetics can be improved by additives. This work studied the growth process of MgB2 with varying contents of 3TiCl3·AlCl3 as an additive, and combined kinetic measurements, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to develop a structural understanding. It was found that the formation of MgB2 preferentially occurs on TiB2 nanoparticles. The major reason for this is that the elastic strain energy density can be reduced to ~4.7 × 107 J/m3 by creating an interface between MgB2 and TiB2, as opposed to ~2.9 × 108 J/m3 at the original interface between MgB2 and Mg. The kinetics of the MgB2 growth was modeled by the Johnson–Mehl–Avrami–Kolmogorov (JMAK) equation, describing the kinetics better than other kinetic models. It is suggested that the MgB2 growth rate-controlling step is changed from interface- to diffusion-controlled when the nucleation center changes from Mg to TiB2. This transition is also reflected in the change of the MgB2 morphology from bar- to platelet-like. Based on our observations, we suggest that an additive content between 2.5 and 5 mol% 3TiCl3·AlCl3 results in the best enhancement of the dehydrogenation kinetics.
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