Will Solid State Hydrogen Storage Bring the Breakthrough for the Energy of the Future?
Hydrogen production falls into three categories: thermal processes, electrolytic processes and photolytic processes. Some thermal processes use energy resources while in others heat is used in combination with closed chemical cycles to produce hydrogen from feed-stocks such as water. These are known as ‘thermo-chemical’ processes.
Closed Cycle Hydrogen Processes – Tomorrow's Technology?
But this technology is in its early stage of development. Steam methane reformation, gasification of coal and gasification of biomass are other processes of production of hydrogen. The advantage with coal and biomass is that both are locally available resources and biomass is a renewable resource too. Electrolytic processes use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and can even reduce the emission of green house gases – if the source of electricity is ‘clean’.
Hydrogen Storage – The Barrier for Hydrogen Technologies
Hydrogen storage for transportation is one of the most technically challenging barriers to widespread commercialisation of this technology. The most common method of storage is in gaseous state in pressurised cylinders, however, it being the lightest element requires high pressures. It can be stored in liquid form in cryogenic systems – but would require high amounts of energy.
It is also possible to store it in solid state in the form of metal hydrides, liquid organic hydrides, carbon nanostructures and in chemicals. The MNRE is presently supporting R&D projects in this field.... more on page 3!