European scientists propose a hydrogen-based raw material that can store energy at 10 times the density of lithium batteries

by:CTECHi     2021-08-01

Lithium Grid News: According to reports, scientists from the Fraunhofer Society, the largest applied scientific research institution in Europe, have proposed a magnesium-based 'Powerpaste' that can be 10 times the density of lithium batteries. The storage of hydrogen energy provides hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a longer range than gasoline-powered vehicles, and can complete refueling within a few minutes. An institute of the Association in Dresden, Germany, has proposed an interesting new method of storing and carrying hydrogen energy. This method is a 'Powerpaste' based on magnesium hydride, which can store hydrogen in a chemical form Under atmospheric pressure, release at any time when needed.

Under normal circumstances, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles carry hydrogen in gas form and store it in a fuel tank with a pressure of about 700 bar (equivalent to 700 atmospheres). These storage tanks are large and heavy, which offset a key advantage of hydrogen over today's lithium batteries-higher energy density. The high pressure also makes the application of hydrogen fuel in power two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles and scooters an unrealistic choice.

To produce this paste, magnesium and hydrogen are combined at a temperature of about 350°C (662°F) and five to six times the atmospheric pressure to form hydrogen Magnesium oxide. Then, esters and metal salts are added to complete the process and form a viscous gray paste that can be loaded into the ink cartridge. In Powerpaste form, it is also completely stable at temperatures up to 250°C (482°F). It carries 10 times the energy of a lithium battery of the same weight, which greatly exceeds the 700bar hydrogen storage tank of the same weight. The researchers say that the range of a car using the Powerpaste power system is expected to be 'comparable to gasoline, or even surpassing gasoline.' When energy needs to be released, a plunger device squeezes the paste into a cavity, where , The paste reacts with water to release hydrogen at a dynamically controlled rate, and then provides energy for the fuel cell, thereby providing power for the electric vehicle power system or other equipment. The impressive energy density of this paste comes in part from the fact that half of the hydrogen it releases comes from the water that reacts with it.

The research team also mentioned that Powerpaste can be used for large drones to greatly increase their flight time and endurance, or for portable appliances, such as paste-powered camping toasters or Kettle etc. The team stated that this viscous paste can be supplied on a standard filling line through 'relatively inexpensive equipment.'

Logically speaking, the transportation of this substance seems to be much simpler than ordinary gaseous hydrogen (and of course liquid). It can be transported around by truck or tanker in oil drums, and it is more or less safe to put in any place. The institute is building a Powerpaste production plant in its own factory, which will be put into use later this year, and can produce 4 tons of paste per year for pilot projects and industry evaluations. It also installed a generator on the test bench in the laboratory and was running.

However, the problem still exists. What happens to magnesium after the paste is consumed? Will it be recycled into the production process? Do the energy density figures quoted above take into account the needs of the entire system, or only consider fuel storage? Considering that the fuel cell will produce water as a by-product, at a given energy, how much water does it need to use, and how much water does it need to add when filling it? Perhaps most importantly, is the process of making this paste energy efficient? You know, in the fuel cell system, one of the taints against clean hydrogen is the terrible low efficiency of clean energy. Store clean energy in the battery and you will get more than 90% feedback on the wheels. Store it in hydrogen, and you will burn at least half of the energy along the way. In addition, the production of Powerpaste requires heat, pressure and industrial processes, all of which require energy consumption, plus the financial and energy costs of storage and transportation. In contrast, gaseous hydrogen looks like a cheaper energy source. source.

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