Innovation That Matters

The technology is compact, with 33x less volume than common 80 bar high pressure storage tanks | Photo source Israel Palacio on Unsplash

A revolutionary method for storing hydrogen

Agriculture & Energy

A German startup has developed a way to increase the storage capacity of hydrogen by 250 per cent

Spotted: There is a growing consensus that reducing emissions and achieving net-zero is going to require a greater use of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis – using excess energy from renewable sources – and then stored. Then, when additional energy is needed, the energy can be released through reverse electrolysis, which produces no emissions.

One issue with hydrogen, however, is that it needs to be stored and transported under very high pressures, which is technically very demanding and poses safety risks. But German startup HydroSolid has now come up with a way to store and transport large amounts of hydrogen at low pressures using a new nanomaterial. This material absorbs hydrogen at room temperature and releases it again when slightly heated – and all at a relatively low pressure of 15 bar.

The system, called HiveOne, is fully recyclable and does not use toxic metals such as rare earths, lithium, or cobalt – making it environmentally friendly. According to the company, the energy density of the hydrogen stored in HiveOne is about 10 times higher than lithium-ion batteries.

HydroSolid describes the advantages of the system as surpassing conventional batteries “in terms of charging cycles and service life (…) The design is based on the durable honeycomb pattern, facilitating optimal handling for diverse applications. The HIVE product series can be individually scaled for any size of application.”

One issue with many renewable forms of energy is being able to store the excess power generated for use when demand increases. For example, times of high wind may not coincide with times of high demand. This is why there is an increasing focus on developing improved energy storage. Recent innovations spotted by Springwise include the development of flow batteries, and bio-based membranes that can make cells more energy efficient.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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