A group from the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis in Rostock, Germany, devised the method that can store and release extremely pure hydrogen using salts in the presence of amino acids.
Because hydrogen has the potential to be a widely used source of green energy, researchers concentrated on hydrogen storage. The ability to store hydrogen in solid salts in a reversible manner may make the fuel easier to handle and transport, however this method calls for the use of precious metals as catalysts and could result in the production of carbon dioxide as an unintended byproduct.
The researchers created efficient storage-release systems utilizing manganese, a more widely-available metal catalyst, as well as bicarbonate and carbonate salts to address the problem.
The scientists discovered that using potassium salts, a manganese-based catalyst, and lysine, an amino acid that acted as an additional promoter and reacted with carbon dioxide to capture it, at reaction temperatures lower than 93oC, was the most efficient way to convert bicarbonate and hydrogen into formate and vice versa. The reaction system reportedly produced hydrogen with a high yield (80%) and purity (99%) after five storage-release cycles.
According to the researchers, the method paves the path for extensive hydrogen storage in solids.