Danish researchers develop hydrogen tablet; stores hydrogen in inexpensive and safe material
Implications for for clean hydrogen economy
Michael Strangholt
Technical University of Denmark press release
September 21, 2005



Dr. Tue Johannessen. Photo courtesy of the Technical University of Denmark



Scientists at the Technical University of Denmark have invented a technology which may be an important step towards the hydrogen economy: a hydrogen tablet that effectively stores hydrogen in an inexpensive and safe material. With the new hydrogen tablet, it becomes much simpler to use the environmentally-friendly energy of hydrogen. Hydrogen is a non-polluting fuel, but since it is a light gas it occupies too much volume, and it is flammable. Consequently, effective and safe storage of hydrogen has challenged researchers world-wide for almost three decades. At the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, an interdisciplinary team has developed a hydrogen tablet which enables storage and transport of hydrogen in solid form.

"Should you drive a car 600 km using gaseous hydrogen at normal pressure, it would require a fuel tank with a size of nine cars. With our technology, the same amount of hydrogen can be stored in a normal gasoline tank", says Professor Claus Hviid Christensen, Department of Chemistry at DTU.

The hydrogen tablet is safe and inexpensive. In this respect it is different from most other hydrogen storage technologies. You can literally carry the material in your pocket without any kind of safety precaution. The reason is that the tablet consists solely of ammonia absorbed efficiently in sea-salt. Ammonia is produced by a combination of hydrogen with nitrogen from the surrounding air, and the DTU-tablet therefore contains large amounts of hydrogen. Within the tablet, hydrogen is stored as long as desired, and when hydrogen is needed, ammonia is released through a catalyst that decomposes it back to free hydrogen. When the tablet is empty, you merely give it a "shot" of ammonia and it is ready for use again.

"The technology is a step towards making the society independent of fossil fuels" says Professor Jens Nørskov, director of the Nanotechnology Center at DTU. He, Claus Hviid Christensen, Tue Johannessen, Ulrich Quaade and Rasmus Zink Sørensen are the five researchers behind the invention. The advantages of using hydrogen are numerous. It is CO2-free, and it can be produced by renewable energy sources, e.g. wind power.

"We have a new solution to one of the major obstacles to the use of hydrogen as a fuel. And we need new energy technologies – oil and gas will not last, and without energy, there is no modern society", says Jens Nørskov.

Together with DTU and SeeD Capital Denmark, the researchers have founded the company Amminex A/S, which will focus on the further development and commercialization of the technology.

Liquid error: Template not found languages/english/includes/_adsense468inks.liquid


Contact persons:
    Prof. Claus Hviid Christensen, Center for Sustainable and Green Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Building 206, Technical University of Denmark, phone: +45 45252402, chc (at) kemi.dtu.dk
    Prof. Jens K. Nørskov, Center for Atomic-scale Materials Physics, Department of Physics, Technical University of Denmark Building 307, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark, phone: +45 4525 3175, norskov (at) fysik.dtu.dk
    Dr. Tue Johannessen, CTO of Amminex A/S, Kemitorvet, Building 206, DK-2800 Lyngby, phone: +45 22546242, tj (at) amminex.com


This is a Technical University of Denmark press release. The original appeared on Sept. 7 2005 at Making society independent of fossil fuels - Danish researchers reveal new technology

Related articles

High oil prices make Asia pursue green energy September 9, 2005
For energy-hungry Asian governments, the answer could literally be blowing in the wind. Across the region, renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal power is gaining ever greater credence as a way to curb the region's appetite for oil and cut runaway import bills. With oil prices near $70, and expected by many analysts to stay over $50 through the end of 2006, governments believe alternative energy will help keep their economies growing.

Cockroaches and rats used as batteries? August 24, 2005
An article in today's Manilla Times highlights some local research into using common household pests as energy sources. A group of scientists from Feati University recently devised a biological fuel cell that uses the enzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) to directly convert biochemical energy into electricity. Their research raises the possibility that household pests like mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches and flies could be used as biofuel sources. Cockroaches generated the highest amperage, according to the article.

Australian inventor believes he can turn sewage into energy source August 23, 2005
An Australian inventor believes he can turn human waste into an energy source. Cy d'Oliveira, an inventor from Queensland, Australia, has devised a system that purportedly converts sewage and paper pulp into methane and other raw energy sources. He calls the system the d'Oliveira Natural Gas Refinery (dNGR) and claims the technology could produce up to 4.71 Kwh (17,000MJ) of electricity per 1Kg of sewerage sludge. Mr. d'Oliveira views his dNGR as a potential way for reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by the combustion of fossil fuels.

Cow manure + sunlight + metal ore = hydrogen fuel? A safe way for storing hydrogen August 11, 2005
Researchers led by Michael Epstein at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel think they may have an energy efficient way of collecting solar energy to generate hydrogen, a key input for green energy technologies like fuel cells. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by processes that require the combustion of fossil fuels which produce polluting greenhouse gases. Further, to date, finding safe and cost-effective means for the storage and transportation of hydrogen gas have proved elusive. Epstein's process has the potential to address a number of these issues by "creating an easily storable intermediate energy source form from metal ore, such as zinc oxide," according to a release from the Weizmann Institute of Science."

Renewable energy in China, a strategic future? August 2, 2005
With a host of environmental and domestic social concerns -- and potential future international conflict -- China could be well suited to pursue renewable energy sources. China's failed bid for American petroleum firm Unocal may prompt it to further focus on its development of alternative energy sources. The country has recently passed a renewable energy law that requires power operators to buy electricity from alternative energy producers and the government has increased spending for research on wind, solar, biofuel, and tidal technologies.










CITATION:
Technical University of Denmark press release (September 21, 2005).

Danish researchers develop hydrogen tablet that stores hydrogen in inexpensive and safe material.

http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0921-hydrogen_tablet.html