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Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Technologies

FY 2003 Progress Report

Doped Carbon Nanotubes for Hydrogen Storage
Ragaiy Zidan (Primary Contact), Apparao M. Rao, Ming Au Hydrogen Technology Laboratory
Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) 773-41A/ 247 Savannah River Site Aiken, SC 29808 Phone: (803) 725-1726; Fax: (803) 725-4129; E-mail:

DOE TechnologyDevelopment Manager: Sunita Satyapal
Phone: (202) 586-2336; Fax: (202) 586-9811; E-mail:

Develop reversible high-capacity hydrogen storage material to meet the DOE goals for a hydrogen storage system: • • • Hydrogen capacity greater than 6 wt.% Favorable thermodynamic and kinetics suitable for transportation applications Stable with hydriding/dehydridingcycling

Technical Barriers
This project addresses the following technical barriers from the Hydrogen Storage section of the Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year R,D&D Plan: • • • • M. N. O. P. Hydrogen Capacity and Reversibility Lack of Understanding of Hydrogen Physisorption and Chemisorption Test Protocols and Evaluation Facilities Dispensing TechnologyApproach
• • • • • Produce large quantities of consistent structure carbon nanotube material Attempt to create a weak covalent hydrogen bond, dihydrogen Dope carbon nanotubes with transition metals and alloys Dope carbon nanotubes with other elements and metal clusters Tune material for hydrogen sorption to occur at desired temperature and pressure

• Synthesis of material wasachieved with: - Different dopants - Different quantities of dopants - Different diameters and configurations Thermodynamic and material characterization were conducted by: - Setting up a high pressure thermovolumetric (TVA) system


Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Technologies

FY 2003 Progress Report

- Measuring the hydriding and dehydriding of material - Examiningnanotubes with cycling - Spectroscopic analysis of product was performed

Future Directions
• • • • • Continue production of nanotubes with different dopants Determine thermodynamic characteristics of hydrogen uptake and release Identify the type and size of nanotubes and clusters that result in a reversible, high hydrogen capacity material Tune conditions to result in a high yield of materialpossessing favorable characteristics Utilize theoretical modeling to guide the experiment

The absence of a practical means for hydrogen storage has been a major obstacle in the transition to a hydrogen economy. Developing a solid-state hydrogen storage system that meets the DOE objectives has been the goal of researchers for years. Unfortunately, the extensive work in the area ofconventional metal and intermetallic hydrides did not result in materials suitable for on-board hydrogen storage. Carbon nanotube technology represents a new direction for solid-state hydrogen storage, especially if these materials can be altered to store large amounts of hydrogen at room temperature. Persistent research activities, worldwide, have been exploring the use of carbon nanotubes for hydrogenstorage [1-5]. This research is taking into account the barriers that face the development of a hydrogen storage system in general as well as taking into account problems that are inherent to carbon nanotube technology. This research is focused on modifying carbon nanotube systems in an attempt to enhance and tune the hydrogen storage capabilities of the nanotubes. The objective of this researchhas been to introduce transition metals and hydrogen bonding clusters into the nanotubes. The intent is aimed at producing consistent size dopants and structures of carbon nanotubes to avoid inconsistency in measurements. The success of making doped carbon nanotubes with transition metals and alloys can allow for a weak covalent bond similar to cases of dihydrogen bond that is not restricted to...
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