Towards a hydrogen-driven society?

Calculations and neutron scattering on potential hydrogen storage materials


Schimmel, H.G.

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Delft University Press



Sustainable development means that alternatives have to be found for the use of fossil fuels to cover our energy needs without disturbance of the balance in the environment. As carbon dioxide is thought to cause major climate changes in the future, the sustainable production of energy nowadays concentrates on carbon dioxide-neutral processes. A sustainable means of transport in particular, implicates that another choice than fossil fuels for the transport of energy is necessary. Hydrogen is a perfect energy carrier in this context as it emits only water vapor when used in a fuel cell and a limited amount of undesirable by-products when used in traditional internal combustion engines. The transportation of hydrogen, however, is a major challenge. Our comparison between internal combustion engines and electric engines with a battery pack shows that the storage of energy onboard vehicles is a long standing problem.

This thesis is about the characterization of two classes of hydrogen storage materials: high-surface area materials and nanostructured metal hydrides. The first subject concentrates on carbon nanotubes and activated charcoal. In the second part magnesium is regarded as a model system for hydrogen storage in metal hydrides.