Towards novel hydrogen storage materials based on complex main group metal hydrides

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Karin Ruhlandt

Subject Categories



Alternative sources of fuel are gaining interest as fossils fuels become more limited and environmental concerns are raised. Hydrogen is one of these sources showing great promise - it has already been tested in vehicles with modified combustion engines. The problem with hydrogen as a fuel source is storage, as compressed gas and liquid storage arrangements are not easily affordable, safe, or convenient. Thus, there is a need for safe, inexpensive, and lightweight materials that rapidly and reversibly adsorb/desorb hydrogen in appreciable quantities. Intense research has focused on chemical storage solutions based on chemisorption and physisorption, such as metal hydrides, borohydrides, alanates, metal organic frameworks, zeolites, etc. So far, no ideal system has been discovered as limits on capacity, thermodynamics, and reversibility, amongst others, were noted. Multiple component systems alter the thermodynamics of hydrogen uptake/release and perform better than single component systems. It is the goal of this project to synthesize hydrogen storage materials based on complex main group metal hydrides. A bulky 2,4,6-trisubstitutedphenyl ligand will be used in an attempt to afford less dense metal hydride complexes and improve the kinetics of hydrogen adsorption/desorption. This report summarizes the progress made towards this goal.


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