The Netherlands takes a giant leap towards practical and safe hydrogen storage and release with a remarkable breakthrough involving shrimp waste.
A team of researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has discovered that flexible spheres made from the biomolecule chitosan, derived from shrimp waste, can act as catalysts for generating hydrogen gas from borohydride salts. This innovative development paves the way for controlled hydrogen release, unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier.
The research conducted by the Heterogeneous Catalysis & Sustainable Chemistry group at UvA aims to address one of the major challenges of using borohydride salts as hydrogen carriers: the controlled release of hydrogen gas. By developing catalysts that facilitate controlled hydrogen release from borohydride salts, the team seeks to establish safer and more practical hydrogen storage units.
The key to this breakthrough lies in the use of chitosan, a biomolecule derived from shrimp waste, to create flexible spheres. These spheres act as catalysts, facilitating the generation of hydrogen gas from alkali metal borohydride salts. Notably, these solid salts can be safely stored in air under ambient conditions and release hydrogen gas only when exposed to water.
The successful development of controlled hydrogen release technology opens up exciting possibilities for utilizing hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier. Safe and practical hydrogen storage and release units are crucial for advancing hydrogen-based technologies, such as fuel cells and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The University of Amsterdam’s research team collaborates with the Austrian Competence Centre for Tribology (AC2T) and Electriq Global, a company dedicated to developing hydrogen-based solutions. This collaborative effort leverages expertise from different fields, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to tackle complex challenges in hydrogen storage and release.