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Journal of Renewable Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 878329, 16 pages
Review Article

Material Demands for Storage Technologies in a Hydrogen Economy

Grupo de Materiales Carbonosos y Medio Ambiente, Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Universidad de Alicante, Apartado 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain

Received 31 October 2012; Accepted 5 January 2013

Academic Editor: Hikmet Esen

Copyright © 2013 M. Kunowsky et al. 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.


A hydrogen economy is needed, in order to resolve current environmental and energy-related problems. For the introduction of hydrogen as an important energy vector, sophisticated materials are required. This paper provides a brief overview of the subject, with a focus on hydrogen storage technologies for mobile applications. The unique properties of hydrogen are addressed, from which its advantages and challenges can be derived. Different hydrogen storage technologies are described and evaluated, including compression, liquefaction, and metal hydrides, as well as porous materials. This latter class of materials is outlined in more detail, explaining the physisorption interaction which leads to the adsorption of hydrogen molecules and discussing the material characteristics which are required for hydrogen storage application. Finally, a short survey of different porous materials is given which are currently investigated for hydrogen storage, including zeolites, metal organic frameworks (MOFs), covalent organic frameworks (COFs), porous polymers, aerogels, boron nitride materials, and activated carbon materials.