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Refractory metal hydrides by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis

English title Refractory metal hydrides by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis
Applicant Yvon Klaus
Number 110681
Funding scheme SCOPES
Research institution Laboratoire de Cristallographie Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Material Sciences
Start/End 01.10.2005 - 31.03.2007
Approved amount 30'200.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Material Sciences
Physical Chemistry

Keywords (3)

refractory metals; SHS synthesis; metal hydrides

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Refractory metal compounds and their hydrides are of major interest in science and technology. In view of their unique physical and chemical properties, the spectrum of possible applications is very wide, in particular in the fields of hydrogen storage for the transportation sector, hydrogen power engineering, powder metallurgy, chemical industry, nuclear engineering etc. However, an aspect that currently limits a more widespread application of these materials is their relatively laborious method of synthesis. Current methods consist essentially of a two-step procedure that starts with the preparation of the alloys, for example by melting of the constituents at high temperature, and then proceeds with hydrogenation, also at elevated temperature. This way of doing so is relatively time and energy consuming, and thus expensive.A more efficient and less expensive way of synthesizing such materials is currently explored at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Based on a systematic investigation of the combustion processes of metals and alloys in hydrogen atmosphere it appears that refractory metal hydrides can be obtained in a single step.This so-called “Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis” (SHS) technique has various advantages over existing methods of hydride synthesis, in particular regarding costs and yields. The newly developed method has so far no analogue in the world and has the potential of providing inexpensive metal hydrides in large quantities and thus a safe and volume efficient way of storing hydrogen (energy).During our past collaboration we have explored a few refractory metal hydride systems. Some titanium and zirconium based carbo-hydrides have been synthesized in relatively small quantities (~100g) by the SHS technique and examined with respect to thermodynamic and structural properties. The results were encouraging in the sense that the quality of the materials and their properties were similar to, and occasionally better than those of, similar materials synthesized by conventional methods. In this Joint Research Project we shall explore the possibility of obtaining larger quantities of such materials, including such in other promising systems. In particular, we shall investigate new refractory metal hydride systems based on 4-th and 5-th group metals (Ti, Zr, V), carbon and nitrogen that can be charged to high hydrogen contents. In case of favorable properties for applications their synthesis by the SHS technique will be upscaled to the kilogram region. The expected results are likely to be applicable to industry since they will a provide a cheaper, more energy and time consuming, and a cleaner and safer production of refractory metal hydrides of high quality.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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