Due to their extremely fine microstructure, nanostructured materials have exceptional functional properties; they also allow combinations of properties that can be achieved by z. B. can be used for applications in traffic and energy technology. Nanostructured light metal hydrides are characterized by faster reaction kinetics, which qualifies these materials for use in hydrogen storage.
The department is divided into two working groups:
- The “Hydrogen Storage Materials” group studies materials with particularly high storage capacities and fast reaction kinetics at relatively moderate working temperatures and pressures.
- The working group “Materials Modeling” develops computer-based models for the microstructure, for phase transformation and for the thermophysical properties of hydrogen storage materials.
Handling of hydrogen storage material powders in glovebox under protected atmosphere. Photo: Hereon
Within the framework of the Helmholtz “Advanced Engineering Materials” program, we develop and characterise nanostructured materials for hydrogen storage. We optimize their properties with the following goals:
- The highest possible capacity for compact and light hydrogen stores
- The highest possible reaction rate at application-oriented operating temperatures for fast and energy-efficient loading and unloading
- Stable loading and unloading behaviour for a long lifespan, suitable for various mobile and stationary applications.
One particular focus lies in light metal hydrides, especially in Reactive Hydride Composites, that are characterized – also in comparison to pressurized and liquid hydrogen storage – by an especially high storage density in relation to weight.