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Journal of the Mexican Chemical Society

versión impresa ISSN 1870-249X


ALONSO, Julio A.; CABRIA, Iván  y  LOPEZ, María J.. The Storage of Hydrogen in Nanoporous Carbons. J. Mex. Chem. Soc [online]. 2012, vol.56, n.3, pp.261-269. ISSN 1870-249X.

An efficient storage of hydrogen is a crucial requirement for its use as a fuel in the cars of the future. Experimental and theoretical work has revealed that porous carbons are promising materials for storing molecular hydrogen, adsorbed on the surfaces of the pores. The microstructure of porous carbons is not well known, and we have investigated a class of porous carbons, the carbide-derived carbons, by computer simulation, showing that these materials exhibit a structure of connected pores of nanometric size, with graphitic-like walls. We then apply a thermodynamical model of hydrogen storage in planar and curved pores. The model accounts for the quantum effects of the motion of the molecules in the confining potential of the pores. The optimal pore sizes yielding the highest storage capacities depend mainly on the shape of the pore, and slightly on temperature and pressure. At 300 K and 10 MPa, the optimal widths of the pores lie in the range 6-10 Å. The theoretical predictions are consistent with experiments for activated carbons. The calculated storage capacities of those materials at room temperature fall below the targets. This is a consequence of an insufficiently strong attractive interaction between the hydrogen molecules and the walls of carbon pores. Recent work indicates the beneficial effect of metallic doping of the porous carbons in enhancing the binding energy of H2 to the pore walls, and then the hydrogen storage.

Palabras llave : Carbon; Hydrogen Storage; Porous Materials; Computer Simulation.

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