Integrated Project NESSHY, partly funded by the European Commission in the context of the 6th Framework Programme for Research (6FP), is coordinated by the Environmental Research Laboratory of the National Research Center “Demokritos” (EL) and aspires to comprise the major European initiative in the field of Hydrogen Storage in Solids. The project started officially on January 1, 2006, with a contractual duration of five years.
NESSHY aims at developing novel materials, storage methods and fabrication processes that provide the energy density and the charge/discharge, storage/restitution rates necessary for mobile applications with spin-offs in stationary systems. The final aim of the project is to identify the most promising solid storage solutions for such applications. The envisaged objectives cover porous storage systems, regenerative hydrogen stores (such as the borohydrides) and solid hydrides having reversible hydrogen storage and improved gravimetric storage performance. Initially, two categories of reversible stores will be investigated – light/complex hydrides, such as alanates and imides, and intermetallic systems involving magnesium, although further categories may be included later. In all cases, the performance of different systems will be compared by a standards laboratory (working in collaboration with the US DoE standardisation activity). Further, efforts will be made to understand the mechanisms involved by innovative modelling activities. When promising new materials are identified, industrial and R&D collaborators will be brought in to upscale the material production, develop appropriate demonstration storage tanks and test out the prototype stores in practical conditions.
Approach and innovation
NESSHY addresses key issues related to hydrogen storage in solid materials such as new materials, novel analytical and characterisation tools and measurement techniques, storage methods and fabrication processes, ab initio and phenomenological modelling. Special attention is paid to the enhancement of energy efficiency, storage kinetics, operating conditions and safety aspects of produced materials and to the tank design.
The overall S&T workplan involves mainly two different types of activities. The vertical type includes four “material development” workpackages, focusing on respective classes of candidate solid stores. For transport applications, both “reversible on-board storage” based on porous solids and metal hydrides, and “regenerative off-board storage”, based mainly on chemical hydrides, are addressed. The horizontal activities include the development and application of ab initio numerical simulation techniques for the prediction of the actual behaviour of real storage materials and the numerical optimisation of storage systems, the use of novel analytical and characterisation tools and combinatorial techniques to better understand the physico-chemical mechanisms of hydrogen storage in the novel materials investigated, the development of test protocols, evaluation facilities, safety and certification aspects in the framework of the Virtual Laboratory, upscaling, tank development and testing, and Dissemination/Training.