High-capacity hydrogen storage in lithium and sodium amidoboranes

Abstract

The safe and efficient storage of hydrogen is widely recognized as one of the key technological challenges in the transition towards a hydrogen-based energy economy1,2. Whereas hydrogen for transportation applications is currently stored using cryogenics or high pressure, there is substantial research and development activity in the use of novel condensed-phase hydride materials. However, the multiple-target criteria accepted as necessary for the successful implementation of such stores have not yet been met by any single material. Ammonia borane, NH3BH3, is one of a number of condensed-phase compounds that have received significant attention because of its reported release of 12 wt% hydrogen at moderate temperatures (150 C). However, the hydrogen purity suffers from the release of trace quantities of borazine. Here, we report that the related alkali-metal amidoboranes, LiNH2BH3 and NaNH2BH3, release 10.9 wt% and 7.5 wt% hydrogen, respectively, at significantly lower temperatures (90 C) with no borazine emission. The low-temperature release of a large amount of hydrogen is significant and provides the potential to fulfil many of the principal criteria required for an on-board hydrogen store.

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Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the crystal structure of LiNH2BH3 and NaNH2BH3 determined from high-resolution X-ray powder diffraction data at room temperature.
Figure 2: High-field 289.2 MHz (21.2 T) 11B NMR of LiNH2BH3 and NH3BH3 samples.
Figure 3: TPD and DSC spectra.
Figure 4

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Acknowledgements

P.C., Z.X. and G.W. are grateful for the financial support from A*STAR, Singapore, and helpful discussions with T. Kemmitt and M. Bowden from IRL and L. Sneddon from Univ. Pennsylvania. T.A., W.S. and A.K. would like to thank the DOE Center of Excellence in Chemical Hydrogen Storage for support. M.O.J., S.J. and P.E. would like to thank the EPSRC (SUPERGEN) for financial support. We wish to thank A. Fitch, M. Brunelli and I. Margiolaki for assistance in using the high-resolution beamline ID31 at the ESRF, Grenoble (France). A portion of the research described here was carried out in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national scientific user facility sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. This work was carried out as a collaboration established by the IPHE project ‘Combination of Amine Boranes with MgH2 & LiNH2 for High Capacity Reversible Hydrogen Storage’.

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Correspondence to Ping Chen.

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Xiong, Z., Yong, C., Wu, G. et al. High-capacity hydrogen storage in lithium and sodium amidoboranes. Nature Mater 7, 138–141 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat2081

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