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How to store hydrogen under pressure Answered

I've made several hydrogen generators via electrolysis, but every time I failed to store the generated hydrogen under (some) pressure. In this-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Q6gDKP2R0 video they used an emptied fire extinguiser to store the hydrogen. The only problem with this is that they use a chemical reaction to generate the hydrogen whereas I want to use a renewable source (electricity).  I have a compressor so I could use that to generate the pressure. Has anyone got any ideas on how I could store hydrogen under pressure?



You can't just use pressure, you need extreme cooling as well, otherwise the hydrogen will leak straight through the material of your container, even the steel of a fire extinguisher.

If you don't have cryogenics, the best way for the hobbyist to use hydrogen is to generate it in situ, or not very long before you plan to use it.

Kiteman, can you point me to a citation for that? I know that helium is sufficiently non-reactive to leak through material, but I didn't think that was true of hydrogen. I don't know that you're wrong, and I'm always up for learning new stuff :-)

Ach, I was mainly going off TV Science shows & news articles on hydrogen fuel (I generally trust the background research of the BBC), but a quick google shows that somebody has been set it as a homework, and it's a problem discussed by energy industry types for transporting hydrogen by pipeline (see pages 15 onwards).

Fascinating! Thank you very much, Kiteman. Naively, I would have expected the hydrogen to react with (i.e., bond to) surface lattice sites before diffusing through. So now I know something I didn't know yesterday; awesome :-)

On that I've seen some homebrew liquid nitrogen production projects, can't think where, but the process involves pressurizing a bunch of air, then cooling, followed by a sort of fractional distillation process.

Ah, quick search - the process I saw sounds a lot like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_cooling Regenerative cooling, which incidentally is how hydrogen was first liquified... You'll still get leakage and it needs to be maintained at a very low temperature to not just boil off through the vessel...

Storing hydrogen is not an issue persay, I go through tanks of hydrogen weekly in my lab, Storing it safely and efficiently is a different story for a fuel source to power something like a car. Not only that but reducing the hydrogen to get the electrons back out is not cheap, unless you just are think of blowing yourself up to travel...might be fun but I'll let you try first. Keep in mind that most the electricity you use comes from coal power plants which is not renewable.


6 years ago

As Kiteman noted, you can't just store hydrogen under pressure because it can diffuse through most solid material, however, cryogenic temperature isn't the only thing that can help retain hydrogen.

Electrical fields and electrical charges have both shown the ability to help store hydrogen, but which method is used is dependent on operational parameters.

There's alot of interesting research going into solid state hydrogen storage, and most of it involves 'charging' a substance with hydrogen in the presence of an electrical field.

You need a special-pump; forget about actually doing this.


I wouldn't forget about it. What if he happens to be the one that invents something amazing with it?
If your really interested in it, go for it, just make sure to do your homework before you go investing alot of cash dollars.

I'd think you would need some kind of pump in order to take the hydrogen from a standard atm to a pressurized atm.

How many psi? You cold put seal it off in a garbage bag and put weight ontop to compress. Are you trying to run an engine off hydrogen?