Thermal hydrolysis of solid-state sodium borohydride for noncatalytic hydrogen generation

Geo Jong Kim, Hyun Tae Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Hydrogen from sodium borohydride (NaBH4, SBH) can be generated by thermolysis or hydrolysis. Unfortunately, thermolysis of SBH requires high temperatures (>300 °C), while hydrolysis is conducted in the presence of catalyst and self-hydrolysis can cause safety concerns due to unexpected generation of hydrogen. In order for hydrolysis of SBH to be practical, efficient and safe methods to produce hydrogen are required. Here, we propose a new process, thermal hydrolysis of SBH, to generate hydrogen via hydrolysis in the solid phase. In this new process, SBH generates hydrogen by hydrolysis with water produced by thermal decomposition of boric acid (BA). Self-hydrolysis causing safety issues no longer occurs because the SBH-BA mixture in the solid-state is stable at below 80 °C. When heating the mixture, a rapid hydrogen evolution was observed at ~ 120 °C and a maximum H2 equivalent of 3.9 was achieved at 150 °C for SBH:BA = 1:4. BA is dehydrated to form metaboric acid with a release of 1 mol H2O at 150 °C and an additional 0.5 mol water at 200 °C. With recent progress in regeneration of SBH spent fuels, this newly proposed method is promising for hydrogen storage in proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130445
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Chemical hydride
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Hydrolysis
  • Sodium borohydride
  • Thermolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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