In its continuing mission to help reduce CO2 emissions, Royal DSM has introduced a material solution for high-pressure composite tanks for hydrogen storage, which can be used in automotive industry. Hydrogen tanks are the next step in fuel storage, as such storage is a key enabling technology for advancing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in applications that include stationary power, portable power and transportation.
Hydrogen has the highest energy per mass of any fuel. One kg of hydrogen is equivalent to 33.3 kWh, which means it delivers three times more energy than conventional fuel. But hydrogen’s low ambient temperature density results in a low energy per unit volume. This requires the development of advanced storage methods that have the potential for higher energy density.
DSM is working to apply its materials expertise to make safe, effective and very lightweight hydrogen tanks.
The two-part tank design features a proven, blow molded liner made of Akulon Fuel Lock, a polyamide 6-based engineering plastic with a very high barrier to hydrocarbons. The tank can then potentially be further reinforced by wrapping it in unidirectional (UD) continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic tapes made of EcoPaXX polyamide 410. This combination of commercially available materials has already proven to be very effective in CNG tanks, and DSM is now actively testing the concept in hydrogen tanks.