Impact of stoichiometry on the hydrogen storage properties of LiNH2-LiBH4-MgH2 ternary composites

Andrea Sudik*, Jun Yang, Donald J. Siegel, C. Wolverton, Roscoe O. Carter, A. R. Drews

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We recently reported (Yang, J.; et al. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 882) a novel hydrogen storage composite involving a 2:1:1 LiNH 2:LiBH 4:MgH 2 ratio. On the basis of in-depth experimental and computational analysis, this composite was found to release hydrogen via a complex multistep reaction cascade, which seeded the products of a subsequent reversible hydrogen storage reaction. This so-called autocatalytic reaction sequence was found to result in favorable kinetics, ammonia attenuation, and partial low-temperature reversibility. Here, we extend our original study by examining the effects of reactant stoichiometry on the ensuing hydrogen storage desorption pathway and properties. In particular, we examine four (LiNH 2) x-(LiBH 2) y-(MgH 2) z composites, where X:Y:Z ) 2:1:2, 1:1:1, 2:0.5:1, and 2:1:1 (original stoichiometry). For each sample, we characterize the postmilled mixtures using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and infrared spectroscopy (IR) analyses and observe differences in the relative extent of two spontaneous milling-induced reactions. Variabletemperature hydrogen desorption data subsequently reveal that all composites exhibit a hydrogen release event at rather low temperature, liberating between 2.3 (1:1:1) and 3.6 (2:0.5:1) wt % by 200 °C. At higher temperatures (200-370 °C), the hydrogen release profiles differ considerably between composites and release a total of 5.7 (1:1:1) to 8.6 (2:0.5:1) wt %. Utilizing variable-temperature IR and PXRD data coupled with first-principles calculations, we propose a reaction pathway that is consistent with the observed phase rogression and hydrogen desorption properties. From these data, we conclude that premilled reactant stoichiometry has a profound impact on reaction kinetics and high-temperature reaction evolution because of reactant availability. From this enhanced understanding of the desorption process, we recommend and test a stoichiometrically optimal ratio (3:1:1.5) which releases a total of 9.1 wt % hydrogen. Finally, we assess the reversibility (at 180 °C) of the four primary composites over two desorption cycles and find that only the 2:1:1 and 2:0.5:1 are reversible (3.5 wt % for 2:0.5:1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2004-2013
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 5 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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