Feasibility of hydrogen storage and sensing on novel TiO2 nanotube materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Chemical Engineering


The problems of fossil fuel consumption and green house gas emissions stimulated the search for alternative sources of energy with a zero carbon cycle. Hydrogen is widely believed to be a major future energy carrier (or 'energy vector'), enabling complete rejection of fossil fuels either by utilizing solar energy conversion or by using renewable hydrocarbon feedstocks. However, successful applications of hydrogen as an energy carrier depend on the resolution of several problems relating to the hydrogen infrastructure, namely storage and transportation. Several approaches for hydrogen storage are being investigated e.g., (i) adsorption of hydrogen on solids with large surface area, (ii) hydrogen storage by metal hydrides, (iii) intercalation of molecular hydrogen in clathrate hydrates. The potential applicability of these techniques depends on the amount of stored hydrogen as well as the ease of its release and material re-generation. The proposed study aims at investigating the feasibility of storing hydrogen in the molecular form within a novel material - TiO2 nanotubes. These materials may also be useful as hydrogen sensors. Using a combination of sorption analysis, nano-manipulation and computational techniques the proposal will prove whether these new materials hold real promise in one of the key future technologies.


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