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C-Crete Technologies awarded funding to develop new porous materials

C-Crete Technologies gets DOE funding to develop better materials for long-term, cost-effective hydrogen storage

New class of nanoengineered materials could store hydrogen produced as byproduct of industrial processes onsite for later use as energy at same facility

HOUSTON, Sept. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — C-Crete Technologies has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and commercialize a new class of nanoengineered materials for storing hydrogen onsite at industrial plants where it is produced as a byproduct. The hydrogen could later be used as energy at the same site where it was produced and stored.

The new material would be low cost and scalable, while exhibiting a desirable balance among the storage capacity, the charge and discharge speeds, and the energy required to do those things, otherwise known as the capacity-kinetics-thermodynamics relationship.

Hydrogen holds attractive possibilities for industries such as steel manufacturing and utilities, where the output gas stream contains hydrogen that is vented out as waste. It is an ideal synthetic fuel, because it is lightweight, abundant and its oxidation product — water — is environmentally benign. Further, it can be used in a range of industrial processes. While hydrogen production and conversion are mature, its large-scale utilization is impeded by the lack of efficient storage. Currently, none of the storage options in the market satisfy the needs of end users, especially for long-duration storage.

“Not only will our new material be capable of long-duration storage, we envision the storage and subsequent use of the hydrogen byproduct in the industrial plants where it is produced,” says Dr. Rouzbeh Savary, president of C-Crete Technologies. “This means there would be no transportation or shipment required for the hydrogen, and that is really a double win. For example, utility companies can store their hydrogen byproduct — which would otherwise be vented out as waste — in our sorbent material, and then months later use it to generate electricity when the grid demands more.”

The new nanoengineered materials would be a major improvement over existing technologies, such as liquid hydrogen, hydrides and salt caverns, which are good on either capacity, kinetics or thermodynamics, but not all three. For example, hydrides have very high hydrogen uptake capacity, but their release kinetics is slow. The new material would have high hydrogen uptake, fast kinetics and would be  scalable with low cost as compared to present options.

“Our technology is focused on a new class of materials that exhibit a balance of capacity-kinetics-thermodynamics for hydrogen storage, devoid of the key bottleneck of current sorbents,” says Dr. Savary.

Current world annual hydrogen production is around 110 million metric tons. For hydrogen to contribute to climate neutrality, it needs to achieve a far larger scale of production and storage, and its production must become fully decarbonized. While green hydrogen derived from electrolysis of water via renewable electricity may be the best path to this goal, currently less than 1 percent of the world’s hydrogen supply is green.

“As an alternative to green hydrogen, byproducts of industrial processes can be excellent choices for energy storage,” says Negar Rajabi, the tech-to-market lead of C-Crete Technologies. “For example, steel manufacturing plants produce enormous amounts of hydrogen as a byproduct, which can be captured and used for energy storage and reuse. We plan to offer our solution as a modular storage system that can be modified for specific types of hydrogen streams in industrial processes, providing a fresh path to low-cost and efficient long-duration energy storage.”

C-Crete Technologies works at the intersection of materials science, nanotechnology, engineering and manufacturing to drive the next generation of innovations for a low-carbon and energy-efficient world.

Negar Rajabi

SOURCE C-Crete Technologies

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