hydrogen production and storage
Liten, a CEA Tech institute, recently developed two pieces of equipment to model hydride breathing, providing valuable insights that could help make hydrogen storage tanks more reliable.
Hydrogen storage is one of the most critical links in the hydrogen-energy chain. And, for a number of years now, Liten has been investigating one solution in particular: confinement in hydride-based tanks. Hydrides behave like hydrogen "sponges," capturing and releasing the gas depending on temperature and pressure. The capture-and-release cycle makes the material expand and contract by around 30%, a phenomenon known as "hydride breathing" that must be factored in when dimensioning storage tanks, and ensuring that they are both leak-proof and mechanically robust.
To respond to this challenge, Liten developed Comedhy, the only piece of equipment of its kind to study the mechanical behavior of hydrides under uniaxial loading. Foreign R&D partners have already made use of Comedhy under an EU project in which it enabled them to observe that the behavior of the same bed of hydrides can vary depending on the load applied.
The second piece of equipment, Bhycycle, is used to optically observe (through portholes) biaxial deformation of the material under 70 bars of hydrogen pressure—truly unique!
Comedhy and Bhycycle will boost Liten's international profile in the field of studying hydrides' mechanical behavior.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.