Although hydrogen is a major energy source for many years, the conventional methods of storing and carrying hydrogen were accompanied by safety risks such as explosions. Recently, hydrogen-absorbing organic compounds have been studied as storage materials, However, these compounds require vessels or tanks maintained at high pressure and/or temperature and often encounter difficulty in releasing the hydrogen gas.
A Waseda University (Tokyo) research group has developed a polymer which can store hydrogen in a light, compact and flexible sheet, and is safe to touch even when filled with hydrogen gas.
ketone (fluorenone) polymer, which can be produced as a thin sheet, and can fix hydrogen via simple electrolytic hydrogenation in water at room temperature. Furthermore, the fluorenol polymer can release hydrogen when heated to 80 degrees Celsius with an aqueous iridium catalyst.
The advantages of the ketone/alcohol polymer include easy handling, moldability, robustness, non-flammability and low toxicity.