Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 863025, 18 pages
Review Article

Metastable Metal Hydrides for Hydrogen Storage

Department of Sustainable Energy Technologies, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA

Received 3 October 2012; Accepted 29 October 2012

Academic Editors: G. C. Mather and A. O. Neto

Copyright © 2012 Jason Graetz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The possibility of using hydrogen as a reliable energy carrier for both stationary and mobile applications has gained renewed interest in recent years due to improvements in high temperature fuel cells and a reduction in hydrogen production costs. However, a number of challenges remain and new media are needed that are capable of safely storing hydrogen with high gravimetric and volumetric densities. Metal hydrides and complex metal hydrides offer some hope of overcoming these challenges; however, many of the high capacity “reversible” hydrides exhibit a large endothermic decomposition enthalpy making it difficult to release the hydrogen at low temperatures. On the other hand, the metastable hydrides are characterized by a low reaction enthalpy and a decomposition reaction that is thermodynamically favorable under ambient conditions. The rapid, low temperature hydrogen evolution rates that can be achieved with these materials offer much promise for mobile PEM fuel cell applications. However, a critical challenge exists to develop new methods to regenerate these hydrides directly from the reactants and hydrogen gas. This spotlight paper presents an overview of some of the metastable metal hydrides for hydrogen storage and a few new approaches being investigated to address the key challenges associated with these materials.