Title

DFT INVESTIGATIONS OF HYGROGEN STORAGE MATERIALS

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Date of Defense

1-11-2017

Graduate Advisor

Eric Majzoub, Ph.D.

Co-Advisor

Julia E. Medvedeva

Committee

Tara Galovski, Ph.D.

Yew San Hor

Sonya Bahar

Phillip B. Fraundorf

Stephen M. Holmes

Abstract

Hydrogen serves as a promising new energy source having no pollution and abundant on earth. However the most difficult problem of applying hydrogen is to store it effectively and safely, which is smartly resolved by attempting to keep hydrogen in some metal hydrides to reach a high hydrogen density in a safe way. There are several promising metal hydrides, the thermodynamic and chemical properties of which are to be investigated in this dissertation. Sodium alanate (NaAlH4) is one of the promising metal hydrides with high hydrogen storage capacity around 7.4 wt. % and relatively low decomposition temperature of around 100 °C with proper catalyst. Sodium hydride is a product of the decomposition of NaAlH4 that may affect the dynamics of NaAlH4. The two materials with oxygen contamination such as OH- may influence the kinetics of the dehydriding/rehydriding processes. Thus the solid solubility of OH- groups (NaOH) in NaAlH4 and NaH is studied theoretically by DFT calculations. Magnesium boride [Mg(BH4)2] is has higher hydrogen capacity about 14.9 wt. % and the decomposition temparture of around 250 °C. However one flaw restraining its application is that some polyboron compounds like MgB12H12 preventing from further release of hydrogen. Adding some transition metals that form magnesium transition metal ternary borohydride [MgaTMb(BH4)c] may simply the decomposition process to release hydrogen with ternary borides (MgaTMbBc). The search for the probable ternary borides and the corresponding pseudo phase diagrams as well as the decomposition thermodynamics are performed using DFT calculations and GCLP method to present some possible candidates.

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