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Article Dans Une Revue International Journal of Hydrogen Energy Année : 2023

Exploring the technological maturity of hydrogen production by hydrolysis of sodium borohydride


Sodium borohydride NaBH4 (SB) has been rediscovered in the late 1990s and been presented as a promising hydrogen storage material owing to its high gravimetric hydrogen density of 10.8 wt% and ability to produce H2 by hydrolysis at ambient conditions. This looked promising, but soon hydrolysis of SB encountered numerous obstacles. In 2015, a progress report (Int J Hydrogen Energy 2015; 40:2673–91) showed that the 2000–2014 research did not overcome all of the obstacles, making SB far from being technologically mature. Eight years have passed since 2015. Have we put more effort into all aspects relating to hydrolysis of SB? If so, do we have produced scaled-up technologies and prototypes, of which we would have a better knowledge? Have we been able to gain in technological readiness level? Answering these questions is the main objective of this article. A secondary objective is to summarize the newly acquired knowledge. Five main observations stand out. First, the 2015–2022 period is regrettably similar to the 2000–2014 since, again, catalysts have dominated the field and the other aspects (e.g. recycling of the by-product to regenerate SB, scale-up and implementation) have received little attention. Second, hydrolysis of SB still runs into numerous obstacles, some of the obstacles being known since a long time and other ones being relatively new and unknown. Third, there has been little gain in terms of technological readiness level while few research groups have shown that there is room for new ideas and innovation. Fourth, energy, exergy and economic analyses are needed to evaluate the overall cost of H2 from SB. Fifth, SB has not effectively thought from the end user perspective. In conclusion, many obstacles remain to be overcome before hydrolysis of SB can be a commercial solution for carrying and producing H2. However, all efforts should be dedicated to (i) construct, operate and optimize H2 production systems (i.e. prototypes and demonstrators), (ii) handle SB at the gram-to-kilogram scale, (iii) make production of SB even more efficient, and (iv) overcome all obstacles while thinking from the end user perspective.


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Dates et versions

hal-04093600 , version 1 (10-05-2023)



Umit Demirci. Exploring the technological maturity of hydrogen production by hydrolysis of sodium borohydride. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2023, ⟨10.1016/j.ijhydene.2023.04.176⟩. ⟨hal-04093600⟩
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