Researchers recently announced that they have made a breakthrough that will make it possible to produce large amounts of ultra-pure green hydrogen fuel on demand that will be safe for both storage and transportation.
The breakthrough involves the use of a porous silicon material which is known as Si+. The silicon-based powder acts as a solid-state H2 making it safer to both store and transport.
“The revolutionary porous silicon material, known as Si+, has the ability to generate ultra-pure hydrogen from a water source and acts as a solid-state hydrogen generating material – one that is compact, robust, and easily transportable – solving many of the issues that have inhibited the growth of the hydrogen economy,” said EPRO Advance Technology renewable energy company.
Si+ can be used as the anode of lithium-ion batteries to increase the battery capacity. However, it is not widely used due to poor performance under the constraints of current technology:
- Large particle volume expansion (300%) during lithiation
- Particle pulverization
- Structural collapse of electrode
- Poor cycle performance
Si+ can also be used when reacted to water to generate Hydrogen. From there, the usable pure hydrogen fuel begins to bubble out of the combination. This process will occur at a wide range of ambient temperatures, from 32º to 176ºF (0º to 80ºC). The biproduct of the reaction is, of course, the H2, but also silicon dioxide, which is the primary substance comprising sand. The former biproduct can be used as a zero-carbon emission fuel, while the latter can be used in construction or even for producing beaches or for use in playgrounds for children. As a result, the carbon footprint of the process as a whole is exceptionally low.
“Si+ is the first distributable, long-duration energy storage material of grid parity. It represents a significant breakthrough of green hydrogen energy, and it will make hydrogen fuel the future.”Albert Lau, EAT CEO
The company also states that, unlike other solid-state hydrogen compounds, Si+ doesn’t store hydrogen, making it ultra-safe compared with other ‘hydrogen fuel carrying’ materials. It also consists merely of metallurgical grade silicon, which can be sourced from sand together with a carbon source, but also from recycled silicon from broken or end-of-life solar panels, most of which currently head to landfill.
The company also underscored that, unlike other hydrogen fuel solid-state compounds, Si+ doesn’t store the H2, making it strikingly safe when compared to “hydrogen carrying” materials.
Our work with hydrogen
Universal Kraft works with hydrogen as a green option to fossil fuels, providing the same functionality on a large scale. Complementary to direct electrification, hydrogen gives the green industry a chance to contribute beyond the grid, via the generation of green hydrogen as energy storage, greening of gas through methanation of hydrogen and feedstock for high-temperature local industrial processes that are difficult to electrify.
These green power alternatives are fundamental for a sustainable and complete clean energy transition. Universal Kraft has been working on alternative and innovative energy storage solutions for a number of years. To optimize the decarbonization potential of renewables for the generation of green hydrogen and ammonia we created the companies UH2 and BH2.
Discover all our solutions here.