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Issue 5, 2010
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Hydrogen in magnesium: new perspectives toward functional stores

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Storing hydrogen in materials is based on the observation that metals can reversibly absorb hydrogen. However, the practical application of such a finding is found to be rather challenging especially for vehicular applications. The ideal material should reversibly store a significant amount of hydrogen under moderate conditions of pressures and temperatures. To date, such a material does not exist, and the high expectations of achieving the scientific discovery of a suitable material simultaneously with engineering innovations are out of reach. Of course, major breakthroughs have been achieved in the field, but the most promising materials still bind hydrogen too strongly and often suffer from poor hydrogen kinetics and/or lack of reversibility. Clearly, new approaches have to be explored, and the knowledge gained with high-energy ball milling needs to be exploited, i.e. size does matter! Herein, progress made towards the practical use of magnesium as a hydrogen store and the barriers still remaining are reviewed. In this context, the new approach of tailoring the properties of metal hydrides through size restriction at the nanoscale is discussed. Such an approach already shows great promise in leading to further breakthroughs because both thermodynamics and kinetics can be effectively controlled at molecular levels.

Graphical abstract: Hydrogen in magnesium: new perspectives toward functional stores

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Article information

15 Oct 2009
27 Jan 2010
First published
25 Feb 2010

Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 526-543
Article type
Review Article

Hydrogen in magnesium: new perspectives toward functional stores

K. Aguey-Zinsou and J. Ares-Fernández, Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 526
DOI: 10.1039/B921645F

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