“RICS-MH” - Metal hydride materials and systems for the increase of efficiency in renewable and hydrogen energy

04 September 2018

Project coordinator:

Mykhaylo Lototskyy

University of the Western Cape

South Africa

Project partners:

Boris Tarasov

Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics RAS


Muthukumar Palanisamy

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati


Xiao Fangming

Guangdong Research Institute of Rare Metals


Funding agencies:

MON (Russia), DST (India), MOST (China)


A primary objective of this project is to facilitate market penetration of metal hydride (MH) technologies in integrated systems which use renewals and/or waste heat as primary energy sources and hydrogen (H/H2) as an energy carrier. This will be achieved via a purposeful development of new MH materials for the increase of end-use efficiency of the hydrogen energy technologies, where materials’ properties will be optimal for the operating conditions of specific applications. The target applications will include (i) compact and safe H2 storage for stationary and mobile autonomous fuel cell (FC) power supply, including rechargeable hydrogen storage units fed from electrolysers and supplying H2 to FC in the integrated renewable energy storage systems; (ii) thermally-driven MH compressors for boosting H2 pressure to 400 bar; (iii) new generation of MH-based electrochemical systems with MH electrodes; (iv) MH heat management systems for the utilisation of low- and medium-grade heat with the help of H2; and (v) compressor driven MH based cooling system. Within the project, the following technologies will be optimised: (a) upscaled preparation of intermetallic compounds (IMC) of RE and 3d-transition metals (AB5 and AB2-type), as well as Mg-based hydrogen storage nanocomposites (n-MgH2); (b) formation of heatconductive hydrogen storage composites using various carbon and metallic nanomaterials; (c) design and manufacturing of MH hydrogen storage units and compressors; (d) preparation of highly efficient MH electrodes, including the use of surface-modified MH materials and their integration in a prototype system for conversion of low-potential heat into electricity; and (e) development of MH-based combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems.