Teesside University and partners eyeing new hydrogen storage solution

UK’s Teesside University is working with compatriots Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Frazer-Nash Consultancy on a feasibility study investigating the potential of using chemical hydrides as a means of storing hydrogen.

Courtesy of Teesside University

The project, called PATCH (Production and Long Term Containment of Hydrides), is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), an Ofgem program managed in collaboration with Innovate UK, Teesside University revealed, adding that it will utilize the funding to conduct preliminary discovery phases essential for understanding the potential outcomes, challenges and resource requirements for further development of chemical hydrides as an alternative hydrogen storage medium.

According to Teesside University, the research aims to assess the market potential of using chemical hydrides as a storage vector for hydrogen, coupled with their production at industrial hubs, thereby reducing energy requirements and facilitating widespread storage distribution across the UK.

“Hydrogen, as a clean and efficient energy source, is seen as a key driver of the move to net zero. However, in its pure form, hydrogen is volatile and can be difficult to store and transport safely,” Teesside University said, noting that hydrides, which are chemicals composed of hydrogen and one or more other elements, can potentially be used as a safe storage medium for the gas.

Faizan Ahmad, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Teesside University and principal investigator on the project, stated: “At Teesside University, we are committed to leveraging our research expertise to pave the way for a cleaner, greener future. We are delighted to be part of this project, which promises to have a tangible impact on realizing the UK’s net zero ambitions.”

Nick Smith, Innovation Manager for Northern Gas Networks, said the project will play a significant role in supporting the company’s commitment to delivering net zero emissions at the lowest possible cost, adding: “As a gas network, we recognise our responsibility to our 6.8 million customers to drive progress towards net zero. This work is instrumental in helping us understand how we can achieve that goal efficiently and expediently.”

To note, NGN is responsible for distributing gas to homes and businesses in the North East, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, and Frazer-Nash is a systems, engineering and technology company.

Click here to read more about hydrogen in the UK.