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Past Energy Seminar
H2 Storage in Organic Heterocyclic Liquids
Prof. Robert H. Crabtree
Chemistry Department, Yale

Friday, November 9
Stanford University

Abstract: In this seminar, two alternative strategies for hydrogen storage were discussed. In the first, hydrogen is stored by catalytic hydrogenation/dehydrogenation in an organic liquid. Organic liquids are innocuous hydrogen storage materials (HSMs) that can be delivered and handled like today's gasoline and thus, they may save costs, as well as greatly enhance safety and security and avoid putting H2 in the public sphere. Introduction of ring and substituent N atoms into the organic structures in 1,3 positional relationships and introduction of 5-membered rings allows us to tune the release temperature over the range 50K to 1000K thus achieving release at any desired temperature. The second strategy addresses the problems of both production and temperature of H2 storage through “virtual hydrogen storage,” in which the two steps are combined into one, thus avoiding any free hydrogen at any stage and further saving costs. In this strategy, an electrical potential from nuclear, solar, wind, etc, is used to electrocatalytically hydrogenate the same storage materials, with energy release by electrocatalytic dehydrogenation in a fuel cell.

Bio: Robert Crabtree, a professor of Chemistry at Yale University since 1977, works in inorganic and organometallic chemistry, including molecular recognition and coordination catalysis. He has been a Dow lecturer (Berkeley), Williams lecturer (Oxford) and Sabatier lecturer (Toulouse) and has received RSC and ACS prizes in organometallic chemistry.


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