A feasibility study to assess the potential of organic crystals as hydrogen storage materials.

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Chemistry


We seek to open a new research area to tackle one of the most pressing challenges in energy-related technology: hydrogen storage. It has been known for over a century that many rigid organic compounds form crystals that trap solvent molecules within their structures (termed clathrates or inclusion compounds). We believe that removal of the solvent from carefully selected crystals will provide microporous materials of a structure that is perfectly suited to the efficient storage of hydrogen by adsorption. This proposal is high risk because the removal of included solvent from organic crystals often results in the collapse of the structure, however, very recent work has shown that this is not necessarily the case for all clathrates. We plan to investigate six promising crystals, which if stable, will provide very significant loadings of hydrogen under target conditions. The considerable combined expertise of the investigators in the field of organic crystals will assist in these studies and represents an involvement of new expertise to a challenging area of energy research. A successful research programme will lead to IP protection of the concept and then dissemination of the results in high-impact journals. A close collaboration with the engineering division of a major car manufacturer provides guidance on materials requirements and a potential route to commercial exploitation.


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Msayib KJ (2009) Nitrogen and hydrogen adsorption by an organic microporous crystal. in Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)