Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Tentative title: Solid state hydrogen storage in metal hydrides gives us safe, high performing, aqueous rechargeable batteries and fuel cell systems
Abstract: The oil crisis in the seventies came close to the discoveries of metal hydride (MH) storage alloys. The new alloys combine electropositive metals with more electronegative metals, resulting in a rather weak bond with hydrogen in the metal atom framework, making the stored hydrogen easily accessible. Still, they have a high hydrogen density, often more than twice of that in LH2.
This initiated research at universities, national laboratories and industries around the world and new materials were successfully developed into commercial products based on solid state hydrogen storage.
Nickel-hydrogen batteries (NiH2) combines a nickel hydroxide electrode with a hydrogen electrode. They have the longest cycle life of all batteries and are used in space application. With a metal hydride as the hydrogen electrode, a new NiMH battery was invented with significantly better volumetric capacity. Improved understanding of the reaction kinetics at the metal hydride surfaces will lead to batteries with the largest capacity-throughput of present battery chemistries. (Capacity-throughput = cycle life*cell capacity).
The dense gaseous hydrogen storage has also led to successful fuel cell propulsion systems for submarines.
Future MH development will further increase cycle life and capacities of batteries as well as more compact gaseous storage. The present strong interest in hydrogen will lead to new applications as outlined in the talk.