High Density Hydrogen Storage in Cellular Gas Storage Tanks

Period of Performance: 09/05/2003 - 06/05/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials & Electrochemical Research
7960 South Kolb Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
Principal Investigator


A major drawback to using hydrogen to power a fuel cells for ground support equipment is its storage requirement. High-pressure hydrogen gas storage in high strength fiber wound cylinders is becoming the near term acceptable method. This approach can further be improved in term of cost, reliability, and performance. MER has identified a new material concept of the cellular system capable of storing compressed gases including hydrogen, oxygen, CO2, etc. at high capacity. The proposed concept can be realized using demonstrated MER's technologies capable of generating materials with controlled cellular structure. This novel structural concept is independent of fiber winding, which could results in lower cost. The increased gas storage capacity is achieved not as a result of further increase in pressure, but rather in available gas storage volume, which should result in increased reliability. During the course of the proposed Phase I research program, MER will finalize the concept, design and material option, as well as fabricate and test the proposed gas storage system to validate the technology and establish its technical and economical feasibility. The effort will include both theoretical and experimental studies and will result in a new high capacity and light weight gas storage hardware system providing at least doubled capacity as compared to conventional compressed gas storage methods. If successful, this project will results in effective lightweight high-pressure gas storage system for use by military as a gas source for deployment of fuel cell for ground support equipment as well as portable hydrogen/oxygen storage for powering fuel cells and small propulsion engines, various life support systems, etc.