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Reversible Hydrogen Storage in a LiBH4–C60 Nanocomposite


Reversible hydrogen storage in a LiBH4:C60 nanocomposite (70:30 wt %) synthesized by solvent-assisted mixing has been demonstrated. During the solvent assisted mixing and nanocomposite formation, a chemical reaction occurs in which the C60 cages are significantly modified by polymerization as well as by hydrogenation (fullerane formation) in the presence of LiBH4. We have determined that two distinct hydrogen desorption events are observed upon rehydrogenation of the material, which are attributed to the reversible formation of a fullerane (C60Hx) as well as a LiBH4 species. This system is unique in that the carbon species (C60) actively participates in the hydrogen storage process which differs from the common practice of melt infiltration of high surface area carbon materials with LiBH4 (nanoconfinement effect). This nanocomposite demonstrated reversible hydrogen storage properties as well as the ability to absorb hydrogen under mild conditions (pressures as low as 10 bar of H2 or temperatures as low as 150 °C). The nanocomposite was characterized by TGA-RGA, DSC, XRD, LDI-TOF-MS, FT-IR, 1H NMR, and APPI MS.