Hydrogen storage

Hydrogen has an image problem thanks to regular replays of the Hindenberg disaster. The traditional storage method is to contain it in pressurised tanks (see Freiburg House, Figure 16). Up to 50 litres can be stored at 200 to 250 bar. Larger-scale operations need pressures of 500-600 bar.

It can be liquefied, but this requires cooling to -253°C which is highly energy intensive. In this form it has a high energy to mass ratio -three times better than petrol but it requires heavily insulated tanks.

Bonded hydrogen is one of the more favoured options. Metal hydrides such as FeTi compounds store hydrogen by bonding it chemically to the surface of the material. The metal is charged by injecting hydrogen at high pressure into a container filled with small particles.

The hydrogen bonds with the material producing heat in the process. The hydrogen is released as the heat and pressure dissipate.

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