Hydrogen Storage-generating System Created

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 16 (UPI) — U.S. chemical engineers say they’ve developed a process called hydrothermolysis that generates and stores hydrogen to run fuel cells in cars.

Purdue University Professor Arvind Varma, who led the research, said the process uses a powdered chemical called ammonia borane, which has one of the highest hydrogen contents of all solid materials.


“This is the first process to provide exceptionally high hydrogen yield values at near the fuel-cell operating temperatures without using a catalyst, making it promising for hydrogen-powered vehicles,” he said. “We have a proof of concept.”

Ammonia borane contains 19.6 percent hydrogen, a high weight percentage that means a relatively small quantity and volume of the material are needed to store large amounts of hydrogen, Varma said.

“The key is how to efficiently release the hydrogen from this compound, and that is what we have discovered,” he said.

The research that included former doctoral student Moiz Diwan, postdoctoral researcher Hyun Tae Hwang and doctoral student Ahmad al-Kukhun was presented Tuesday in Philadelphia during the International Symposium on Chemical Reaction Engineering.

The study will also appear in an upcoming issue of the AIChE Journal, published by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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