This new process is described in the scientific journal Materials Today. And since it is about separating, storing and transporting huge quantities of gas safely and without waste, this technique could be perfectly adapted to hydrogen.
Transport hydrogen safely
The researchers here succeeded in perfecting an original and novel technique for the separation and storage of gases. To achieve this, they used boron nitride powder, which has a very high absorption capacity. During the process, this powder is placed in a grinder containing small stainless steel balls. The collision of these balls with the powder and the wall of the chamber then triggers a mechano-chemical reaction which gradually leads to the absorption of the gas by the powder. Note that this solution does not require harsh chemicals and does not create any by-products.
Once absorbed into this material, the gas can then be transported easily and safely. It will then suffice to heat the powder under vacuum to release the gas in a perfectly unchanged form.
Such a process theoretically makes it possible to store hydrogen (or other gases) anywhere and to use it as soon as necessary.
For the moment, the success of this method has only been demonstrated in the laboratory. The next step will therefore be to validate it with industry to develop practical applications.
As a reminder, the current method of storing hydrogen consists of using a high-pressure tank or even cooling the gas down to its liquid form. However, these methods involve relatively hazardous processes and chemicals.