A team of Foundry scientists have determined how graphene-coated magnesium hydride is able to store and release hydrogen gas safely and easily.
Significance and Impact
This work completes the trifecta of synthesis, in situ characterization, and theoretical understanding of a H2 gas storage system, which will lead to better energy conversion systems and technologically viable hydrogen storage.
- This work builds on the previously reported hydrogen storage system of magnesium nanoparticles coated with reduced graphene oxide.
- While the magnesium coating was supposed to protect the metal from oxidation, in situ X-ray spectroscopy measurements made at the Advanced Light Source revealed an atomically thin layer of oxidized magnesium where the metal meets the graphene coating.
- Instead of reducing the material’s performance, the MgO layer prevents further oxidation and can increase the rate that H2 is split into separate H atoms, facilitating the insertion of hydrogen into the system.