The Helmholtz Center Hereon has developed a solution to produce Hydrogen Storage from industrial waste.
As Hereon announced, it is about metal hydrides. In principle, these can be a good solution because they store large amounts of hydrogen in a small space. This is especially true for applications where the volume and security of the storage system play a role. Examples of this are stationary Hydrogen Storage filling stations or on ships.
Because they offer a very high storage density.
High-purity metals are generally used to manufacture these storage materials. However, the extraction and large-scale production of these materials place a heavy burden on the environment. They emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, not to mention the impact of the extraction of the raw material on the environment itself.
Circular economy for Hydrogen Storage tanks
Researchers at the Hereon Institute for Hydrogen Technology have now shown that high-quality storage for hydrogen can also be produced from less pure metal waste from industry. These findings make it possible for the first time to apply a circular economy strategy to the production of metal hydrides. This makes the production much more environmentally friendly.
“Using circular economy approaches to produce hydrogen storage materials enables us to address the energy challenges of our time in a more sustainable way,” says Dr. Claudio Pistidda, Scientist at the Hereon Institute for Hydrogen Technology.
Several million tons of metal waste are generated every year. Recycling these materials is vital. It could help in many countries to better serve the ever-increasing demand for metals and thus reduce the threat to economic growth.
Although successful recycling processes exist for most metal alloys used in industry, a significant amount is still lost.
As Hereon researchers are now showing, the production of metal hydrides could capture large amounts of this industrial waste by using otherwise non-recyclable materials. Metal hydrides, in contrast to metallic alloys, eg for heavy-duty construction purposes, appear to be quite insensitive to the exact alloy composition.
“Our research opens a new avenue to develop environmentally friendly materials for high-performance hydrogen storage applications,” said Pistidda.