Hydrogen is considered the fuel of the future, but its storage as such requires a heavy pressure tank. The car can hold a tank, but the motorcycle is not right, not to mention the planes. What help?
For example, a paste based on magnesium hydride (MgH₂) which releases hydrogen when reacting with water. Thus, a light vehicle would carry with it two tanks: one for paste and one for water.
The hydride paste developed by the German Fraunhofer Research Institute would also be beneficial for infrastructure and not just for small vehicles. The storage and pumping of the paste would not require the same expensive equipment as gaseous hydrogen.
According to the researchers, the service station would survive with investments of “a few tens of thousands of euros”, where gaseous hydrogen will swallow 1-2 million euros. At the order of magnitude level, it could therefore be said that the distribution infrastructure of hydrogen paste would be 30 times cheaper.
Postdoctoral researcher involved in the development of the paste Marcus Vogt says in the bulletinthat the energy density of the paste is about 10 times that of typical batteries. It also beats 700 atmospheric hydrogen tanks with this meter.
In addition to magnesium hydride, the paste contains some additives, but the bulletin only described them with the generic words “salt and ester”, without revealing the exact composition.
Half of the hydrogen produced by the reaction of hydride and water comes directly from the paste, the other half from the water. The reaction equation is MgH₂ + 2 H₂O -> 2 H₂ + Mg (OH) ₂.
The hydrogen generated in this way can be consumed in an internal combustion engine, but it is more energy-efficient to use a fuel cell. Indeed, Fraunhofer’s researchers have based their research on this option and point out that the technology could be used not only in electric motorcycles and airplanes, but also to generate electricity for small equipment in field conditions.
According to Vogt, magnesium hydride is stable up to a temperature of 250 ° C, so there is no need to fear its decomposition even in hot weather. The hydride is formed directly from its elements, i.e. metallic magnesium and hydrogen, under high pressure at about 350 degrees.
The Fraunhofer Institute has begun construction of a pilot plant for the production of magnesium hydride paste. The plant is expected to be completed later this year and would produce 4 tonnes of paste per year.
Source: Tivi by www.tivi.fi.
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