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Using nano-materials to catalyze magnesium hydride for hydrogen storage Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
kinetic models
ball mill
3d metal catalysts
magnesium hydride
carbon nanotubes
nanocrystalline
electron microscopy
hydrogen storage
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Shalchi Amirkhiz, Babak
Supervisor and department
Mitlin, David (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Semagnia, Natalia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Cadien, Ken (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Goyette, Jacques (Physics, UQTR)
Secanell, Mark (Mechanical Engineering)
Liu, Qingxia (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Specialization

Date accepted
2011-03-04T21:15:14Z
Graduation date
2011-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
We have designed and engineered bi-catalyst magnesium hydride composites with superior sorption performance to that of ball milled magnesium hydride catalyzed with the individual baseline catalysts. We have examined the effect of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT)-metallic nanoparticle additions on the hydrogen desorption behavior of MgH2 after high-energy co-milling. We showed the synergy between SWCNT's and metallic nanoparticles in catalyzing the sorption of magnesium hydride. The optimum microstructure for sorption, obtained after 1 h of co-milling, consists of highly defective SWCNTs in intimate contact with metallic nanoparticles and with the hydride. This microstructure is optimum, presumably because of the dense and uniform coverage of the defective SWCNTs on the MgH2 surface. Cryo-stage transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the hydride powders revealed that they are nanocrystalline and in some cases multiply twinned. Since defects are an integral component of hydride-to-metal phase transformations, such analysis sheds new insight regarding the fundamental microstructural origins of the sorption enhancement due to mechanical milling. The nanocomposite shows markedly improved cycling as well. Activation energy analysis demonstrates that any catalytic effect due to the metallic nanoparticles is lost during cycling. Improved cycling performance is instead achieved as a result of the carbon allotropes preventing MgH2 particle agglomeration and sintering. The nanocomposite received over 100 sorption cycles with fairly minor kinetic degradation. We investigated the catalytic effect of Fe + Ti bi-metallic catalyst on the desorption kinetics of magnesium hydride. Sub-micron dimensions for MgH2 particles and excellent nanoscale catalyst dispersion was achieved by high-energy milling. The composites containing Fe shows DSC desorption temperature of 170 °C lower than as-received MgH2 powder, which makes it suitable to be cycled at relatively low temperature of 250 °C. The low cycling temperature also prevents the formation of Mg2FeH6. The ternary Mg-Fe-Ti composite shows best performance when compared to baseline ball milled magnesium hydride with only one catalytic addition. With a very high BET surface area it also shows much less degradation during cycling. The synergy between Fe and Ti is demonstrated through use of TEM and by carefully measuring the activation energies of the baseline and the ternary composites.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3FH9G
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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