Energy Efficiency / Environmental Health & Safety

DSM Introduces Material Solution For Hydrogen Storage Tanks

By Chemical Processing Staff

Sep 08, 2017

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, introduces a material solution for high-pressure composite tanks for hydrogen storage. DSM is working to apply its materials expertise to make safe, effective and very lightweight hydrogen tanks. 

“We had already developed this technology for compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks, and now we are testing the same material and design principles for hydrogen tanks to meet the needs of the automotive industry,” says Bert Keestra, application development engineer at DSM.

The two-part tank design features a blow molded liner made of Akulon Fuel Lock, a polyamide 6-based engineering plastic with a very high barrier to hydrocarbons. The tank can 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, according to the company, and DSM is now actively testing the concept in hydrogen tanks. The result would reportedly be the lightest weight plastic tank available for hydrogen storage applications.

For the liner, Akulon Fuel Lock greatly reduces weight compared to metal, according to DSM. It also reportedly offers improved permeation versus polyolefin liners, meaning that the gas stays in the tank. The liner material, which is 100% recyclable, is safe with no debuckling, says DSM. The material is optimized to remain ductile and tough, even at extremely low temperatures (-40°C).

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