Energy / Environment 2

Design of Hybrid Inorganic/Organic Nanomaterials for Hydrogen Storage

A/Prof Cyrille Boyer
A/Prof. Francois Aguey-Zinsou (MERLIN Group)

Hydrogen could be the ultimate energy carrier enabling energy security and global sustainability in this 21st century. Hydrogen is already central to our current energy systems. In the sun, hydrogen releases the energy that sustains life on Earth, while hydrogen bonded to carbon provides us with the so-called fossil fuels that have powered our industrial revolution. Unfortunately, a heavy reliance on finite resources and the adverse effects of fossil fuels on global climate are now threatening further development. In its purest form hydrogen has a high energy content (142 MJ.Kg-1), and therefore hydrogen has naturally emerged as the only possible synthetic energy carrier with sufficient versatility to replace oil. However, the effective storage of hydrogen in a compact manner remains the central difficulty for its widespread use. Efforts over the last decades have targeted a range of materials capable of storing hydrogen with high density in the form of a hydride, e.g. MgH2, NaAlH4, H3BNH3 and LiBH4, but the realization of successful strategies to control and balance competitive thermodynamics/kinetics requirements for the effective storage of hydrogen remains unanswered.


Figure 1. Self-assembly of Magnesium nanoparticles in polymer structures and SEM/TEM micrograph showing the self-assembly in fibre structure.

In this project, we try to develop a method for the facile production of MgH2 nanoparticles and their assembly into a tertiary structure providing remarkable stability to the magnesium nanoparticles against agglomeration and sintering.


  • MgH2 with different morphologies synthesized by thermal hydrogenolysis method for enhanced hydrogen sorption E. J. Setijadi; C. Boyer; K. F. Aguey-Zinsou (2013) International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38, (14), 5746–5757.
  • Remarkable hydrogen storage properties for nanocrystalline MgH2 synthesised by the hydrogenolysis of Grignard reagents E. J. Setijadi; C. Boyer; K. F. Aguey-Zinsou (2012) Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 14, 11386-97.
  • Synthesis and stabilisation of MgH2 nanoparticles by self-assembly, K. F. Aguey-Zinsou; C. Boyer (2012) ChemPlusChem, 77, 423-6