Hydrogen generation from ammonia borane using nanocatalysts

Suresh Babu Kalidindi, Balaji R Jagirdar


The rapidly depleting petroleum feed stocks and increasing green house gas emissions around the world has necessitated a search for alternative renewable energy sources. Hydrogen with molecular weight of 2.016 g/mol and high chemical energy per mass equal to 142 MJ/kg has clearly emerged as an alternative to hydrocarbon fuels. Means for safe and cost effective storage are needed for widespread usage of hydrogen as a fuel. Chemical storage is the one of the safer ways to store hydrogen compared to compressed and liquefied hydrogen. It involves storing hydrogen in chemical bonds in molecules and materials where an on-board reaction is used to release hydrogen. Ammonia–borane, (AB, H3N·BH3) with a potential capacity of 19.6 wt% is considered a very promising solid state hydrogen storage material. It is thermally stable at ambient temperatures. There are two major routes for the generation of H2 from AB: catalytic hydrolysis/alcoholysis and catalytic thermal decomposition. There has been a flurry of research activity on the generation of H2 from AB recently. The present review deals with an overview of our efforts in developing cost-effective nanocatalysts for hydrogen generation from ammonia borane in protic solvents.

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