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High Capacity Molecular Hydrogen Storage in Novel Crystalline Solids


Wendy Mao, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University


A major barrier to the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier is finding a practical hydrogen storage material for mobile applications. Extreme environments provide a broader space to search for phases with desirable properties. For example, one promising compound discovered at high pressure is tetrahydrogen-methane (CH4(H2)4), which contains 33.4 wt% molecular hydrogen, not including the hydrogen in the methane itself. This exploratory activity uses a closely coupled experimental and theoretical approach to identify several promising hydrogen-rich, crystalline solids, determine their structures, and then attempt to stabilize these phases near ambient conditions (e.g. by the addition of chemical promoters). The goal of this effort is to ultimately provide guidance in developing improved hydrogen storage materials.

Progress Report


  • Kroon, M. C., H. Docherty, P. T. Cummings, C. J. Peters, G.-J. Witkamp, and W. L. Mao. “Novel interactions in hydrogen-rich van der Waals compound CH4(H2)4,” JACS (submitted, 2010).