I’ve talked in the past many times about using aluminum hydrides, magnesium hydrides or other hydrogen chemical storage methods such as sodium borohydride. Now, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and their Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) have cracked the code on reusable aluminum hydrides, which they refer to as “alane” to store hydrogen safety and effectively.
Hydrogen on demand enthusiasts have long looked towards some sort of hydride to create hydrogen either onboard or just off-board the vehicle such as at a refueling station. The problem has always been how to recharge the spent material with hydrogen in a safe and cost effective manner.
The scientists at SRNL (not to be confused with the cast of SNL) believe the alane (AlH3) will allow for repeated “release and recharge (of) its hydrogen.” This not only bodes well for the hydrogen car industry where storage and transportation of a chemical hydride would be less inhibitory than compressed hydrogen gas, but for the battery industry as well.
Small electronic devices will also be able to use this aluminum hydride technology for long-life batteries along with the military which needs its mobile communication devices to have extended battery life and be easily recharged as well.
Stationary hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems will also positively be affected by this discovery. This is yet another step along the hydrogen pathway that is necessary towards realization of a full hydrogen based economy.