U.S. successfully develops nanocomposites that efficiently store hydrogen

According to a recent report from the American Physicists Organization Network, American scientists have designed a new type of hydrogen storage nanocomposite, which is composed of magnesium metal and a polymer and can quickly absorb and release hydrogen at room temperature. Another major breakthrough in the fuel cell and other fields.

In the 1970s, people began to regard hydrogen as a substitute for fossil fuels and placed high hopes on it, because the by-product of hydrogen combustion is only water, and other hydrocarbon fuels will emit greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants after combustion. In addition, compared to gasoline, hydrogen has a lighter mass, greater energy density, and rich sources.

But if hydrogen is to be used as a fuel alternative to gasoline, it must solve two major problems: how to store it safely and densely, and how to obtain it more easily. In recent years, scientists have been trying to solve these two problems. They tried to "lock" hydrogen in solids; they tried to store more hydrogen in a smaller space, and at the same time make the hydrogen's reactivity very low-to keep hydrogen, a volatile substance stable, with low reactivity Very important. However, most solids can only absorb a small amount of hydrogen, and at the same time, the entire system needs to be extremely heated or cooled to improve its energy efficiency.

Now, scientists from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have designed a new nano-hydrogen storage composite material, which consists of metallic magnesium nano-ions scattered on a polymethyl methacrylate (polymer related to Plexiglas) matrix composition. The new material can quickly absorb and release hydrogen at room temperature, and the metal magnesium will not oxidize in the cycle of absorption and release of hydrogen.

Researcher Jennifer Urban said that this research shows that in designing nanocomposites, they can break through basic thermodynamic and kinetic barriers and allow substances to combine well; and they can also effectively balance new composite materials Polymer and nano-metal particles in order to provide reference for solving related problems in other energy research fields.

Urban and colleague Christian Keslowsky observed a single magnesium nanocrystal scattered in the polymer using the TEAM 0.5 microscope of the US Department of Energy's National Electron Microscope Center. The TEAM 0.5 microscope is the most powerful electron microscope in the world. It can directly observe and analyze nanostructures at a resolution of 0.5 Angstroms (about one-third the size of carbon atoms and a key dimension for atomic-scale research). Using this microscope, researchers can also track down "flaws"-irregular ordering and atomic blanks within crystals, from which scientists can understand the behavior of hydrogen atoms in new storage materials with unprecedented precision and accuracy.

Keith Lowisky said: "Using a TEAM 0.5 microscope can confirm the presence of hydrogen in this material, and can directly photograph the hydrogen atom array in the new material, allowing us to better observe the behavior of hydrogen atoms."

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