The impact of carbon materials on the hydrogen storage properties of light metal hydrides

P.A. Adelhelm, P.E. de Jongh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The safe and efficient storage of hydrogen is still one of the remaining challenges towards fuel cell powered cars. Metal hydrides are a promising class of materials as they allow the storage of large amounts of hydrogen in a small volume at room temperature and low pressures. However, usually the kinetics of hydrogen release and uptake and the thermodynamic properties do not satisfy the requirements for practical applications. Therefore current research focuses on catalysis and the thermodynamic tailoring of metal hydride systems. Surprisingly, carbon materials used as additive or support are very effective to improve the hydrogen storage properties of metal hydrides allowing fast kinetics and even a change in the thermodynamic properties. Even though the underlying mechanisms are not always well understood, the beneficial effect is probably related to the peculiar structure of the carbon materials. This feature article gives an introduction to the different carbon materials, an overview of the preparation strategies to synthesize carbon/hydride nanocomposites, and highlights the beneficial effect of carbon by discussing two important hydrides: MgH2 and NaAlH4.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2417-2427
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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