Hydrogen Economy – Samples Under Pressure

Figure 1: Tomographic reconstructions of the titanium cell high pressure with the liquid body of deuterated n-decane and methane phase for 1 bar (left), 82.6 bar (middle) and 118.7 bar (right). (from Vopička et al. [1])

The transfer to the low-carbon economy will likely involve the progressive substitution of natural gas by hydrogen as energy carrier.  The transportation of hydrogen is complicated by the safety measures inherently connected to the use hydrogen. Thus, e.g. the use of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHCs) is proposed.

The high sensitivity of neutron imaging for hydrogen combined with the ability to transmit relatively unimpeded the walls of the pressure vessels makes neutron imaging an ideal tool for investigations of the concentrations of hydrogen (or hydrogen rich substances) in matter under pressure and for the non-tactile assessment surface tensions of liquids under high pressures. In the recent seminal publication  [1], we have measured for the first time the development of surface tension, gas diffusion and liquid swelling under increasing pressures in so-called one-pot experiment (see Fig.1).

Likewise, one of the challenges for the widespread introduction of hydrogen technology is commercial scale high density storage, which is required for fueling motor vehicles, ships, and trains equipped with high pressure vessels.