To store hydrogen more efficiently, surfactant foam materials can be used

With the development of the hydrogen energy industry, hydrogen storage is becoming more and more concerned, because hydrogen storage capacity is essential for intermittent hydrogen energy supply. Recently, a research team at the Jaisrajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology in India initially explored and reported on the feasibility of surfactant foams in porous media to improve hydrogen storage efficiency in the latest study, and the results were published online on April 20 in the American Chemical Society’s Energy and Fuels.

In the past, hydrogen was often stored in porous media, but the gas fluidity of porous media reduced storage efficiency. In order to improve the efficiency of hydrogen storage, the research team used compressed air and nonionic surfactants in the study to prepare foam in guar gum solution; at the same time, the prefabricated sand bag made of sand was used as a porous medium, and these foams were injected into the sand bag to evaluate the hydrogen storage.

Studies have shown that the foam, as a fluidity control fluid in porous media, significantly increases the hydrogen storage capacity by 1.5–2.7 times; by adjusting the proportion of foam in porous media, the strongest hydrogen storage capacity can be further achieved.

Porous media-filled foam makes hydrogen storage more efficient. Image from the paper

In addition, abandoned oil wells are also considered ideal places to store hydrogen. The study shows that the presence of crude oil reduces foam stability, so it is not recommended to inject and store hydrogen in depleted oil fields with large crude oil volumes. (Source: China Science Daily Zheng Jinwu)

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