Inspenet, September 15, 2023.
French scientists have gained recognition as finalists in the Research category of the European Inventor Award 2023 due to their outstanding achievement in creating a hydrogen storage system that is safe and stable . This novel creation has the appearance of wafers that resemble old vinyl records.
Currently, the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier poses several obstacles regarding its storage. Historically, it has been stored in a gaseous or liquid state, which takes up considerable space and demands a significant amount of energy to keep it under compression.
Promising storage system
In contrast, the novel disk-based method created by the French team requires a lower amount of energy , guarantees safety and can be placed on a surface without the hydrogen reacting with the surrounding air. Additionally, it has been shown to be stable over time.
The development of these disks began more than two decades ago at the Néel Institute in Grenoble, where the team led by Daniel Fruchart focused for ten years on research into the storage of solid hydrogen.
The key to achieving this lay in the use of magnesium . This material proved to be highly effective in hydrogen absorption, using magnesium hydride (MgH2) along with expanded graphite to control the release of heat during hydrogen release.
The reversible concept was conceived by Daniel Fruchart and Michel Jehan when they founded the company McPhy in 2008. Despite the initial challenges they faced, their innovations in this field did not go unnoticed.
This solid-state hydrogen storage system has already been introduced to the market in countries such as Italy and Japan . Additionally, advanced discussions are taking place in Norway to adapt it for applications in ferries, shipping and large chemical industries. This highlights the versatility and expansion potential of this innovative technology.
The storage technology of the aforementioned element in the form of disks also offers practical benefits, since its compact size and its ability to be installed on a surface facilitate its incorporation in different environments. This leads to greater versatility when it comes to the design and placement of hydrogen storage structures, which could further accelerate their large-scale adoption.