Recommended Volumetric Capacity Definitions and Protocols for Accurate, Standardized and Unambiguous Metrics for Hydrogen Storage Materials

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29 Scopus Citations


The ultimate goal of the hydrogen economy is the development of hydrogen storage systems that meet or exceed the US DOE’s goals for onboard storage in hydrogen-powered vehicles. In order to develop new materials to meet these goals, it is extremely critical to accurately, uniformly and precisely measure materials’ properties relevant to the specific goals. Without this assurance, such measurements are not reliable and, therefore, do not provide a benefit toward the work at hand. In particular, capacity measurements for hydrogen storage materials must be based on valid and accurate results to ensure proper identification of promising materials for further development. Volumetric capacity determinations are becoming increasingly important for identifying promising materials, yet there exists controversy on how such determinations are made and whether such determinations are valid due to differing methodologies to count the hydrogen content. These issues are discussed herein, and we show mathematically that capacity determinations can be made rigorously and unambiguously if the constituent volumes are well defined and measurable in practice. It is widely accepted that this occurs for excess capacity determinations and we show here that this can happen for the total capacity determination. Because the adsorption volume is undefined, the absolute capacity determination remains imprecise. Furthermore, we show that there is a direct relationship between determining the respective capacities and the calibration constants used for the manometric and gravimetric techniques. Several suggested volumetric capacity figure-of-merits are defined, discussed and reporting requirements recommended. Finally, an example is provided to illustrate these protocols and concepts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number201
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Physics A Solids and Surfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-65798


  • figure of merit
  • hydrogen storage
  • measurement protocols
  • volumetric capacity


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