Low-cost sodium borohydride production for the hydrogen economy

October 5th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Hydrides, Liquid organic carriers

Lead Organisation:
Boron Molecular Pty Ltd

Partners:
University of Technology Sydney, GrapheneX

Status:
Active

Start date:
August 2022

Completion date:
August 2025

Key contacts:
Professor Zhenguo Huang: zhenguo.huang@uts.edu.au
Boron Molecular Pty Ltd. Dr Oliver Hutt: ohutt@boronmolecular.com
GrapheneX. Stephen Wee: stephenwee@live.com

Funding:
CRC Projects

Project total cost:
AUD$4,725,000. Cash contribution AUD$3,275,000.

Project summary description:
The global hydrogen storage market is expanding, with projected 6.5% annual growth to US$25.4 billion by 2027. However, all current options for hydrogen storage and delivery are inefficient and/or involve safety issues. Sodium borohydride (NaBH4) represents a strong alternative for storing and transporting hydrogen at scale, due to its high hydrogen content (10.8 per cent of its mass, wt%), effective hydrogen evolution controllability and easy handling. As a hydrogen carrier, NaBH4 can produce hydrogen via hydrolysis at room temperature without any energy input.

However, NaBH4 is currently expensive to produce, which prevents its wide applications. This is because the current production is based on a 70-year-old Brown-Schlesinger process, which is capital and energy-intensive, requires high temperatures and high pressures and generates large amounts of CO2.

This project will develop a blueprint for an industry-scale, cost-effective process to produce NaBH4 as a safe and efficient hydrogen carrier. Success in commercialisation will improve local advanced manufacturing capability and raise Australia’s global standing in hydrogen storage technology and application.

Related publications and key links:
Not applicable at this time.

Higher degree studies supported:
Not applicable.

 

October 2022