Researchers from Japan Develop Data-driven Model for Hydrogen Storage

The research focuses on using magnesium hydride for solid-state hydrogen storage


Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a data-driven model that can predict barriers related to dehydrogenation, a chemical reaction that involves the release of hydrogen in magnesium hydride, a promising material for solid-state hydrogen storage.

This process of solid-state hydrogen storage binds the gas to a metal hydride using moderate heat and pressure. The hydrogenated material can then be safely stored at normal temperature and pressure without any hydrogen escaping. The process is then repeated with different pressure and temperature conditions for dehydrogenation.

The researchers claim that this advancement could significantly accelerate the development of high-performance hydrogen storage solutions.

Solid-state hydrogen storage materials like magnesium hydride are prime candidates for efficient hydrogen storage due to their high capacity and natural abundance. However, assessing their performance has been limited by the complexity of calculating dehydrogenation energy barriers – a key factor determining storage efficiency.

The new model sidesteps this bottleneck using easily computable parameters and a physics-based approach that captures the essential chemistry with far less computation than conventional transition state search methods.

“Our model offers a faster, more efficient way to predict the dehydrogenation performance of hydrogen storage materials,” said Hao Li, the corresponding author. “This allows us to bridge the knowledge gap left by experimental techniques and accelerate the development of high-performance hydrogen storage solutions.”

The model’s predictions were validated against experimental measurements, providing clear guidelines to enhance magnesium hydride performance to meet U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) targets.

The DOE has set out a goal for onboard hydrogen storage in vehicles, aiming for a system that can hold 5.5% of its weight in hydrogen and store 0.04 kilograms of hydrogen per liter of volume by 2025.

The researchers plan to extend the model to other metal hydrides, potentially enabling the discovery of new composite materials for hydrogen storage.

“By adapting our model to various metal hydrides, we can expedite the exploration and optimization of hydrogen storage materials, paving the way for cleaner and more efficient energy systems,” Li added.

Earlier this year, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy launched pilot projects to test the viability of using green hydrogen and its derivatives in the shipping and steel sectors.