German Institute Develops ‘Powerpaste’ That Stores Hydrogen Energy At 10x the Density of a Lithium Battery

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A German research organization has developed a magnesium-based “Powerpaste” with an energy density ten times more than current battery technology. Hackaday reports: We’ve been promised hydrogen-powered engines for some time now. One downside though is the need for hydrogen vehicles to have heavy high-pressure tanks. While a 700 bar tank and the accompanying fuel cell is acceptable for a city bus or a truck, it becomes problematic with smaller vehicles, especially ones such as scooters or even full-sized motorcycles. The Fraunhofer Institute wants to run smaller vehicles on magnesium hydride in a paste form that they call POWERPASTE. The idea is that the paste effectively stores hydrogen at normal temperature and pressure. At 250C, the paste decomposes and releases its hydrogen. While your motorcycle may seem hot when parked in the sun, it isn’t getting quite to 250C. Interestingly, the paste only provides half the available hydrogen. The rest is from water added start a reaction to release the hydrogen. Fraunhofer claims the energy density available is greater than that of a 700 bar tank in a conventional hydrogen system and ten times more than current battery technology. One thing that’s attractive is that the paste is easy to store and pump. A gas station, for example, could invest $20-30,000 and dispense the paste from a metal drum to meet low demand and then scale up as needed. A hydrogen pumping setup starts at about $1.2 million. Fraunhofer is building a pilot production plant that will produce about four tons of the material a year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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