MRS Online Proceedings
Light element complex hydrides (e.g. NaBH4) together with metal hydrides (e.g. MgH2) are considered two primary classes of solid state hydrogen storage materials. In spite of drawbacks such as unfavorable thermodynamics and poor kinetics, enhancements may occur in reactive hydride composites by nanostructuring of reactant phases and formation of more stable product phases (e.g. MgB2) which lower overall reaction enthalpy and allow reversibility. One potential system is based on mixing NaBH4 and MgH2 and subsequent ball milling, which in a 2:1 molar ratio can store considerable amounts of hydrogen by weight (up to 7.8 wt%). A study of the 2NaBX4 + MgX2 → MgB2 + 2NaX + 4X2 (X=D,H) reaction is assessed by means of in-situ neutron diffraction with different combinations of hydrogen and deuterium on the X position. The desorption is established to begin at temperatures as low as 250 °C, starting with decomposition of nanostructured MgX2 due to joint effects of nanostructured MgX2 and its reducing effect at NaBX4. Analyses of background profile, due to the high incoherent neutron scattering of hydrogen, as a function of temperature demonstrate direct correlation of H/D desorption reactions with relative phases amount.