Loading and reversible storage of hydrogen in a crystalline solid

The present invention enables the loading and reversible storage of hydrogen in a crystalline solid by using a plasma generated by dielectrically impaired discharge. The hydrogen can be removed from the storage material as required, whereby the structure of the storage material is preserved macroscopically.


For a successful energy revolution the use of fossil fuels must be further reduced. As a substitute for gas and oil, hydrogen is already regarded as the energy carrier of the future. However, hydrogen is very volatile due to its low density. Accordingly, suitable technologies for the loss-free handling (loading, storage and removal) of hydrogen play an important role. A particular challenge is the choice of suitable storage materials. The so-called metal hydrides represent promising compounds for the storage of hydrogen, especially for applications in the transport sector. However, their high reactivity with moisture and difficult handling in ambient atmosphere prevent their easy application in tanks and thus the market penetration of this very promising and clean technology.

Our solution

The present method enables the loading and reversible storage of hydrogen in crystalline solids by using dielectrically impaired discharge. The device according to the invention is shown in Fig. 1. The storage material (crystalline metal hydride) can be particulate, present as a fill or be a mold, and is surrounded by at least one special polymer layer that is impermeable to water vapor and oxygen. Consequently, the storage material is well protected from external influences. By contacting the storage material with gaseous hydrogen, a dielectrically impaired discharge is generated and reversible storage is enabled. The hydrogen can be released again without changing the storage material macroscopically. The device can be connected via the inlet line to a hydrogen tank and via the outlet line to a consumer (e.g. combustion engine or fuel cell).


Abb. 1 Vorrichtung zur Beladung von Wasserstoff speichernden Feststoffen mit Wasserstoff

Fig. 1: Device for loading and reversible storage of hydrogen in a crystalline solid (left side) and structure of the storage materials (right side) (Source: Mr. Maik Szafarska, TU Clausthal, Germany).


  • Loading at low pressures (e.g. ambient pressure) possible
  • Loading at low temperatures (e.g. ambient temperature) possible
  • Reversible storage possible
  • Storage material protected from moisture and oxygen (longevity)


  • Hydrogen storage and hydrogen tanks
  • Combustion engines
  • Fuel cells
  • Centralized and decentralized power generation

Development status

The device and method have been successfully tested on laboratory scale.

Patent situation

German patent application: DE102018219720B4
Patent owner: Clausthal University of Technology

Further information

G. Sourkouni et al., International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 39 (2014) 14834 – 13842; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhydene.2014.06.124


Dr. Mirza Mackovic
Patent Manager Technology
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Phone: +49 551 30724 153
Reference: CPA-2262-T256

Tags: Physics and Technology & Software


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