Scientific Divisions / Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (18)
Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (18)
Dr. Darius Milčius
Breslaujos 3, LT-44403 Kaunas
Phone +370 (37) 40 19 09
Fax +370 (37) 35 12 71
FUSION Programme: Kick-Off Meeting Presentations 2004
Main research areas of the Center:
– research in the field of hydrogen energy technologies:
– synthesis of hydrogen separation membranes and analysis of their properties;
– synthesis and properties analysis of metals and their alloy hydrides designed for hydrogen storage;
– synthesis of hydrogen fuel cell elements: anodes, electrolytes and cathodes applying physical vapour deposition methods.
In 2011 a state subsidy funded project Synthesis and Property Analysis of Nano-crystalline Metal Hydrides, Designed for Energy Storage and Optical Devices was successfully continued. In the modern world, the greatest share of energy is obtained from oil, but its resources are finite.
The use of oil causes global problems which could be solved by replacing oil with energy carrier, hydrogen. Hydrogen may be stored in metal hydrides: one of such hydrides currently under the most exhaustive research is magnesium hydride. However, due to the issued related to hydrogen absorption/desorption kinetics and excessively high formation/decomposition temperature, magnesium hydride has not yet been widely used in the energy sector. The most efficient methods for improving the properties of this hydride is to introduce small amounts of various additives (e.g. Ti) and in this way destabilise the Mg-H system.
During the implementation of this work, the researchers aimed at obtaining thin-layer Mg7TiHx structures by applying physical vapour deposition method for the synthesis of magnesium-titanium on silicon plates, which were cleaned before the process using plasma based pre-treatment. The hydrogenation of the obtained structures were performed by applying high-pressure and temperature hydrogenation chamber. The received samples were then tested by profilometer, scanning electronic microscope, energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer, X-ray diffractometer and glow discharge optical emission spectroscope. The results of the experiments demonstrated that the compounds developing in the hydride depend on the material, used for synthesis, and its surface structure.
During the implementation of the EU SF project Foundation of National Open Access Scientific Center for Future Energy Technologies, ULVAC-PHI X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy equipment (standard abbreviation XPS or ESCA) Versaprobe 5000 was bought and installed in LEI Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies in 2010. It is the highest-quality analytical equipment, which distinguishes from other XPS by the lowest probing diameter as its size may be set from 300 to only 10 μm. This enables carrying out high special resolution XPS analysis encompassing the identification of separate elements, resolution of their chemical state and formation of extremely accurate phase maps. Moreover, the spectroscope is equipped with a unique patented function of dual-beam charge neutralisation (low-energy ions and electrons), for this reason, both conductive and dialectric materials may be easily tested. In order to observe the material distribution in depth, an angle-dependent XPS (ADXPS) analysis may be performed, or the sample may be sputtered using the installed argon ion gun and in this way carry out the grading of samples.
In co-operation with lectors and students at Department of Physics of Vytautas Magnus University and Department of Physics of Kaunas University of Technology, the Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies concentrates equipment necessary for investigations, allows teachers at Department of Physics of Vytautas Magnus University and Department of Physics of Kaunas University of Technology to use modern educational aids and prepare high-qualified specialists (including all study cycles) and develop competitive research. It is equally important that LEI has become a powerful centre of attraction for young researches.
In 2011 a project Hydrogen Extraction from Water Vapour Plasma by Molecular Implantation as a part of the programme Future Energy financed by Research Council of Lithuania was completed. The work has demonstrated that proton conductive oxide electrolyte fuel cells (PCFC) are capable of successfully substitute solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and operating at lower temperatures by noticeably reducing the total price of fuel cell system.
In 2011, the researchers of the Center actively participated in International Energy Agency Hydrogen Implementation Agreement (IEA HIA) Task 22, Fundamental and Applied Hydrogen Storage Materials Development. In this activity, chemical destabilisation of metals and their alloy hydrides was carried out by introducing new elements into materials, which form intermediate derivatives during hydride decomposition and, thus not allowing the system to get fully relaxed to the lowest energy state, or form a destabilized hydride during hydrogenation.
Last year, the researchers of the Center published 7 articles in the publications on the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) list.