Energy storage will play a key role in a future sustainable energy system. Mobile storage is required for clean transportation, for example, while large scale systems can provide the load leveling capacity essential for widespread use of intermittent renewables.
Materials are important for many forms of energy storage. Hydrogen shows promise for transport using fuel cell vehicles, and natural gas can power internal combustion engines, significantly decreasing the quantity of CO2 emitted compared to petrol or diesel. Nanoporous materials can be used to store both hydrogen and methane via adsorption but assessing the amount of each gas adsorbed by a material, as a function of temperature and pressure, is critical.
Thermal storage methods can also be used to harvest solar energy, and a number of approaches use sorption, including water sorption by porous materials and hydrogen uptake by metal hydrides.
In each case, it is necessary to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of gas or vapor sorption. The IGA-001, XEMIS, and IMI-HTP can be used to measure gas sorption up to pressures of 200 bar, while water and organic vapor sorption can be determined using the IGAsorp dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) analyzer and IGA-002 gravimetric vapor sorption analyzer.