The Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, which operates under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has claimed to have developed the first superionic hydride ion conductor that can operate under ambient conditions. The hydride ion (H ) is an energy carrier and reactive hydrogen species with a high redox potential and strong reducibility. The successful development of materials capable of conducting pure H under ambient conditions represents a significant breakthrough in advanced clean energy storage and electrochemical conversion technologies.
The hydride ion is a key focus of scientific research in the field of clean energy. Researchers are actively exploring ways to harness its energy-carrying capabilities and use it to power various applications. However, until now, it was challenging to develop materials that can conduct pure H at ambient conditions, which limited the potential applications of this hydrogen species. The achievement by the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, therefore, represents a significant step towards realizing the full potential of the hydride ion.
The superionic hydride ion conductor developed by the Chinese scientists offers several advantages over conventional materials. For instance, it can store and transport hydrogen ions with high efficiency, which translates to enhanced energy storage capabilities. Furthermore, the material’s ability to operate under ambient conditions means that it can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation and stationary energy storage systems.
The development of the superionic hydride ion conductor could also have a significant impact on the renewable energy industry. With the rising demand for clean energy, there is a need for cost-effective and efficient energy storage solutions. The new material offers a promising solution to this challenge by providing a viable alternative to conventional batteries and fuel cells.
The material’s ability to conduct pure H under ambient conditions offers several advantages over conventional materials and opens up new possibilities for advanced clean energy storage and electrochemical conversion technologies. The discovery could also have a significant impact on the renewable energy industry by providing a cost-effective and efficient energy storage solution.
Over the last few years, scientists have developed several materials capable of conducting H-. However, none of these materials could achieve superionic conduction under ambient conditions. As a result, the development of materials that can conduct pure H at room temperature remains an important challenge in the field of clean energy.
To address this challenge, a research team focused on the structure and morphology of trihydrides. These are hydrides containing three atoms of hydrogen per molecule, and they targeted rare earth elements (REHx), including Lanthanum (La). The team’s findings were published in the prestigious journal Nature.
The team’s research found that the unique structure and morphology of the trihydride-based REHx materials were responsible for their excellent superionic conduction properties. In particular, the materials’ ability to form a three-dimensional framework that facilitated H- transport was a key factor.
The discovery of this new class of materials with exceptional H- conduction properties has significant implications for the development of advanced clean energy storage and conversion technologies. It could lead to the creation of high-capacity and long-lasting batteries, which would have a significant impact on the renewable energy industry. Furthermore, it could enable the development of efficient and cost-effective electrochemical conversion technologies that convert H- into other useful chemical products, such as ammonia or methanol.
The team of researchers adopted an innovative approach to developing the superionic hydride ion conductor. They used a mechanical ball milling method to deform Lanthanum trihydride (LaHx) through impact and shear force. The method created nanosized grains and defects in the LaHx lattice, leading to a significant suppression of its electronic conductivity.
The suppression of electronic conductivity transformed LaHx into a superionic conductor capable of record high conductivities at ambient temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees Celsius to 80 degrees Celsius. The high conductivity of the material was a result of the creation of a three-dimensional framework that facilitated the transport of H-.
The research team plans to further investigate the underlying physics behind this phenomenon and explore the extension of the method developed in the study to other hydride materials. This approach could broaden the scope of materials suitable for pure H- conductors, leading to new breakthroughs in the field of clean energy.
The use of nanotechnology in the development of this superionic hydride ion conductor has significant implications for the energy industry. The approach could lead to the creation of high-performance batteries that offer superior energy storage capabilities. It could also pave the way for the development of efficient and cost-effective electrochemical conversion technologies that convert H- into other useful chemical products.
In conclusion, the innovative mechanical ball milling method adopted by the research team enabled the deformation of Lanthanum trihydride into a superionic conductor with record high conductivities at ambient temperatures. The approach has significant implications for the development of advanced clean energy storage and conversion technologies. Further investigations into the underlying physics behind the phenomenon could lead to the development of new materials suitable for pure H- conductors, opening up new possibilities for the energy industry.