Hydrogen offers a route to storing renewable electricity and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Metal–organic framework (MOF) adsorbents are promising candidates for hydrogen storage, but a deep understanding of their potential for large-scale, stationary back-up power applications has been lacking. Here we utilize techno-economic analysis and process modelling, which leverage molecular simulation and experimental results, to evaluate the future opportunities of MOF-stored hydrogen for back-up power applications and set critical targets for future material development. We show that with carefully designed charging–discharging patterns, MOFs coupled with electrolysers and fuel cells are economically comparable with contemporary incumbent energy-storage technologies in back-up power applications. Future research should target developing MOFs with 15 g kg−1 of recoverable hydrogen adsorbed (excess uptake) and could be manufactured for under US$10 kg−1 to make the on-site storage system a leading option for back-up power applications.
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The data that support the results of this study are provided in the main text and Supplementary Notes 1–11. Source data are provided with this paper.
The current study uses Microsoft Excel tool ‘Tankinator’ and open-source Python software (RASPA and Coolprop); source codes are available from https://www.hymarc.org/models.html, https://github.com/iRASPA/RASPA2 and http://www.coolprop.org, respectively. All steps in the analysis are described in equations (1)–(40) and Supplementary Notes 1–11. Scripts automating the analysis are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) established as part of the Energy Materials Network under the US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office, under contract number DE-AC02-05CH11231 with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (P.P., A.A., H.F., J.R.L. and H.B.) and DE-AC05-76RL01830 with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (K.B., M.E.B. and T.A.). We thank M. Monroe of Microsoft for his insight.
The authors declare the following competing interests: J.R.L. has a financial interest in Mosaic Materials Inc., a start-up company working to commercialize metal−organic frameworks for gas adsorption applications. The University of California, Berkeley, has been issued a patent relating to the use of Ni2(m-dobdc) on which J.R.L. is listed as a co-inventor and has applied for a patent relating to the use of V-btdd on which J.R.L. is listed as a co-inventor. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.
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Peng, P., Anastasopoulou, A., Brooks, K. et al. Cost and potential of metal–organic frameworks for hydrogen back-up power supply. Nat Energy 7, 448–458 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-022-01013-w