Boron-based Hydrogen Storage

For more than a decade, hydrogen as an alternative to traditional (fossil) energy sources has been in the focus of research and development efforts in all technologically advanced countries of the world. It is strongly believed that hydrogen can help to address the growing demand for energy and slow down global climate change.1 

Boron belongs to a class of elements that can bind significant amounts of hydrogen and release it under mild experimental conditions. Boron-based materials, specifically boron hydrides, can store up to 19% hydrogen by weight and release it at the temperatures ranging from 100 °C to 400 °C or upon chemical treatment.2-5 

The most recent generation of boron hydrides evaluated as high-capacity hydrogen storage media are largely based on reversible magnesium and calcium borohydrides3 (Product Nos. 715247, 695254) or lithium ammonia borane6 (Product No. 710199).  The latter combines high hydrogen content of 13.5 wt.% and low hydrogen release temperature of ~90° C with an excellent hydrogen release profile.

715247 (Mg); 695254 (Ca)


Another material of great interest for hydrogen storage is ammonia borane2 (Product No. 682098), which releases ~ 13% of hydrogen in two steps at temperatures exceeding 100° C (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Thermal decomposition of ammonia borane


Further substances evaluated as high-capacity sources of hydrogen include lithium and sodium borohydrides (Prod.No. 686026, 685917, 686018), which are capable of an irreversible hydrogen release in aqueous solutions in the presence of metal catalysts.7





  1. Balema, V.P. Material Matters, 2007, 2.2, 2.
  2. Karkamkar, A.; Aardahl, C.; Autrey, T. Material Matters, 2007, 2.2, 62.
  3. Soloveichik, G.L. Material Matters, 2007, 2.2, 11.
  4. Johnson, S. R.; Anderson, P. A.; Edwards, P.P.; Gameson,I.; Prendergast, J. W.; Al-Mamouri, M.; Book, D.; Harris, I.R.; Speight, J.D.; Walton, A. Chem. Commun. 2005, 2823.
  5. Sudik, A.; Yang, J.; Halliday, D.; Wolverton, C. J. Phys. Chem. C. 2008, 112, 4384.
  6. Z. T. Xiong, C. K. Yong, G. T. Wu, P. Chen, W. Shaw, A. Karkamkar, T. Autrey, M. O. Jones, S. R. Johnson, P. P. Edwards, W. I. F. David, Nat. Mater. 2008, 7, 138.
  7. Wu,Y.; Mohring R.M. Prepr. Pap.-Am. Chem. Soc., Div. Fuel Chem. 2003, 48, 940.


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