hydrogen powder. Researchers announce groundbreaking discovery

Researchers at Australia’s Deakin University have discovered a way to store hydrogen in powder form. A significant innovation as the storage and transport of this gas remains a major obstacle to its development.


Raphael Desrosiers

Published on

Hydrogen could be a solution for the future, especially if its storage becomes easier.


Given the limitations of autonomy and charging time of battery-powered vehicles, hydrogen represents an attractive alternative: fuel cells allow comfortable autonomy and refueling takes little longer than a thermal vehicle. The miracle solution for the challenges of the energy transition of rolling stock? Not quite, as hydrogen has its own limitations. Today, it is either very carbon intensive or expensive to produce and storage problematic because hydrogen is a very volatile gas that easily ignites and explodes..

A mechanochemical innovation

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hydrogen powder process

The figure shows the inside of the centrifuge. The action of the metal balls makes it possible to break down the structure of the hydrogen, which then attaches itself to the boron nitride.


On this last point, researchers at Australia’s Deakin University announce they have made a significant discovery. Thanks to the use of boron nitride (a chemical element used in particular in the semiconductor industry) and a mechanochemical process (a mechanical action that has the property of transforming a chemical element), the Australian team managed to transform hydrogen into powder. More precisely, the hydrogen, which is placed in a kind of centrifuge with boron nitride and steel balls, combines with the nitride and therefore takes the form of a powder.. This can then be reheated, releasing the unaltered hydrogen that can be siphoned off and used.

multiple interests

The paths offered by this discovery are numerous. First, hydrogen is much less difficult to store in powder form, according to the researchers. Its transport and use would therefore be simplified.. On the other hand, this process does not require any rare materials, since boron nitride can be produced synthetically without great effort. An advantage over batteries. Converting it into powder is also 90 times less energy intensive than refining oil, which is a step in fossil fuel production.

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Hydrogen toyota mirai

Current hydrogen vehicles use expensive tanks to store the gas (here a Toyota Mirai).


A demonstrator to validate the process

“This experiment shows that there is a mechanochemical alternative for producing hydrogen […] which does not require high pressure or low temperatures. This therefore represents a much cheaper and safer way to develop hydrogen vehicles, for example,” says Professor Ying Chen, who led the research. The next stage of this experiment will be an industrial validation by a demonstrator This will make it possible to consider or not this solution to accelerate the development of hydrogen and more environmentally friendly transport.


Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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