Functional energy materials for hydrogen storage and delivery to large transportation systems

August 11th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Adsorbents, Mobility, Cold/cryo compressed

Lead Organisation:
University of Sydney

Rux Energy, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation


Start date:
January 2021

Completion date:

Key contacts:
Lead Investigator: Cameron Kepert:
CEO Rux Energy: Jehan Kanga:

Australian Research Council:
LP200301563: RGS Grants Search – Grants Data Portal – AUD$602,766
LP210100435:  RGS Grants Search – Grants Data Portal – AUD$597,373
CRC-Projects (Round 11): – AUD$2,770,000

Project total cost:
See above contributions.

Project summary description:
The primary challenge for hydrogen use in heavy mobility applications is volumetric (space) density. Ultra-high-pressure (UHP) composite tanks are currently the only way to store enough hydrogen, dispatchably. These UHP composite 350-700 atmosphere tanks are:

  • Expensive – adding 50% to the total capital cost of vehicles.
  • Expensive to repressurise / refuel – adding to operating cost – losing 18-22% of the total stored energy per cycle, and adding at least 4-6 times to the infrastructure cost of refuelling stations.
  • Gravimetrically inefficient (state-of-the-art is 6%; erodes the benefit of hydrogen).
  • Bulky and awkward in shape (low space efficiency).

Solving hydrogen storage costs and (in)efficiencies is critical to solving slow adoption velocity, and thus decarbonising the heavy transport sector.

A partnership of University of Sydney, Rux Energy and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has worked to develop and optimise novel materials. These advanced (patented) nanoporous metal-organic-framework (MOF) materials enable high-efficiency hydrogen physisorption, significantly increasing the gravimetric (mass) and volumetric (space) density of hydrogen storage systems, reducing supply-chain-wide energy losses. The MOFs are interoperable with existing gas infrastructure and safety standards, accelerating industry transformation to a lower cost hydrogen economy.

Related publications and key links:

Higher degree studies supported:
Two PhD students at the University of Sydney are supported by this project.


Reviewed: April 2024