Theoretical maximal storage of hydrogen in zeolitic frameworks

Jenny G. Vitillo, Gabriele Ricchiardi, Giuseppe Spoto, Adriano Zecchina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Physisorption and encapsulation of molecular hydrogen in tailored microporous materials are two of the options for hydrogen storage. Among these materials, zeolites have been widely investigated. In these materials, the attained storage capacities vary widely with structure and composition, leading to the expectation that materials with improved binding sites, together with lighter frameworks, may represent efficient storage materials. In this work, we address the problem of the determination of the maximum amount of molecular hydrogen which could, in principle, be stored in a given zeolitic framework, as limited by the size, structure and flexibility of its pore system. To this end, the progressive filling with H2 of 12 purely siliceous models of common zeolite frameworks has been simulated by means of classical molecular mechanics. By monitoring the variation of cell parameters upon progressive filling of the pores, conclusions are drawn regarding the maximum storage capacity of each framework and, more generally, on framework flexibility. The flexible non-pentasils RHO, FAU, KFI, LTA and CHA display the highest maximal capacities, ranging between 2.86-2.65 mass%, well below the targets set for automotive applications but still in an interesting range. The predicted maximal storage capacities correlate well with experimental results obtained at low temperature. The technique is easily extendable to any other microporous structure, and it can provide a method for the screening of hypothetical new materials for hydrogen storage applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3948-3954
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 7 2005


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