Home Applications & Case Studies European MAST3RBoost project for novel hydrogen tanks

European MAST3RBoost project for novel hydrogen tanks

MAST3RBoost (Maturing the Production Standards of Ultraporous Structures for High Density Hydrogen Storage Bank Operating on Swinging Temperatures and Low Compression) is a European project that aims to, create an industry-ready solution for H2 storage at cryogenic storage temperature (~-180°C) under compression (100 bar) by developing a new generation of ultraporous storage materials (activated carbons/ACs and metal-organic frameworks/MOFs) for hydrogen-powered vehicles (road, rail, air and water transport).

The goal is to increase H2 uptake capacity by 30% and transfer laboratory-scale synthesis processes to industrial-scale manufacturing processes. This would bring significant advances to hydrogen storage capabilities and would be a major contribution to decarbonization.

With more than 1,000 million tons of CO2 emissions, the transport sector in Europe is already responsible for one third of climate-damaging CO2 emissions. Decarbonization of the mobility sector is therefore urgently needed, and fuel cell and hydrogen batteries (FCH) can make a decisive contribution to this as a drive solution, especially for larger vehicles such as trucks, buses, ships or trains. This is a not insignificant economic factor – experts estimate that the market in the European Union alone is worth 130 billion euros.

The current state of the art for hydrogen storage on board vehicles is based on the compression of H2 at 700 bar and is currently 25 grams of H2 per liter of storage volume. This is a very low figure, considering that the aim is to pack around 5 kg of H2 into a gasoline-equivalent tank (80 kg/90 l) in the future. Thus, the difficulties associated with efficient H2 storage lead to a very slow uptake of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The goal of MAST3RBoost is to achieve at least 40 grams of H2 per liter. This is an important milestone that would help provide a real alternative to conventional climate-damaging internal combustion engines.

Based on a new generation of ultra-porous materials such as activated carbon and high-density metal-organic framework compounds optimized by machine learning methods, the MAST3RBoost project aims to develop the world’s first adsorption-based demonstrator on a kg scale. In the sense of a circular economy approach, recycled raw materials in particular will be used. The focus of the research and development process is a life cycle analysis in order to minimize the overall environmental impact and to improve the economic performance of the hydrogen storage system already in the design phase.

In particular, AIT’s LKR Light Metal Competence Center Ranshofen is contributing its expertise in wire-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM).

Stephan Ucsnik, the AIT project manager, explains: “The demonstrator component, a new type of hydrogen tank, is to be manufactured at the LKR using WAAM. Special aluminum and magnesium alloys developed at the LKR will be used.”

The project, coordinated by Envirohemp, will run for four years and is based on thirteen partners from eight different countries: Envirohemp S.L. (Spain); Contactica S.L. (Spain); Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain); CIDETEC Surface Engineering Institute (Spain); Spike Renewables SRL (Italy); EDAG Engineering Gmbh (Germany); Nanolayers OU (Estonia); LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen GmbH (Austria); University of Pretoria (South Africa); Council For Scientific And Industrial Research (South Africa); Stellantis (Portugal); TWI (UK); University of Nottingham (UK).

For more information about the AIT, please visit ait.ac.at.

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