Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Hydrogen can be stored as acid

Hydrogen gas holds promise as a carbon-free fuel, but is difficult to store and transport because it is highly flammable, diffuse and has a low energy density. Jonathan Hull at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and his colleagues have found a possible way to store hydrogen as an aqueous solution of formic acid (HCOOH), which has a higher energy density.

At ambient temperature and pressure, an iridium catalyst dissolved in water causes H2 to react with carbon dioxide to form the acid under mildly basic conditions. Acidifying the solution triggers the release of pure pressurized H2 gas. Because of the mild conditions needed for the reactions, the work could eventually lead to a mechanism for H2 storage.

Nature Chem. 10.1038/nchem.1295 (2012)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hydrogen can be stored as acid. Nature 483, 376 (2012).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing