Accelerated Hydrogen Diffusion Through Glass Microspheres: An Enabling Technology for a Hydrogen Economy

EPA Grant Number: R830420C001
Subproject: this is subproject number 001 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R830420
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)
Center Director: Earl, David A.
Title: Accelerated Hydrogen Diffusion Through Glass Microspheres: An Enabling Technology for a Hydrogen Economy
Investigators: Shelby, James , Rapp, Douglas B.
Current Investigators: Shelby, James , Hall, Matthew M.
Institution: Alfred University
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: August 1, 2002 through February 28, 2004
RFA: Targeted Research Center (2002) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research , Congressionally Mandated Center


This is one of the subprojects conducted by the Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER).  The objectives of this research project are to: (1) provide data needed to demonstrate that hydrogen storage in hollow glass microspheres combined with our recent discovery of photo-enhanced diffusion can produce hydrogen supply rates sufficient for commercial applications; (2) optimize experimental parameters (wavelength of radiation, base glass composition, glass dopants) to provide a highly efficient combination of material and photon source; (3) demonstrate that the glasses developed can be formed into microspheres; and (4) determine the mechanism causing this previously unsuspected phenomenon.


In-situ high temperature X-ray diffraction will be used to study the interactions of three compositions of sealing glasses for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) seals with six candidate interconnect alloys. The study will focus on the fundamental phase equilibria, reaction mechanisms, and reaction kinetics, under oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. Three sealing glass compositions will be used: the ‘standard’ patented composition developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, a second sealing glass with half the boron content of the PNNL composition to modify the wetting and thermal expansion, and a third that is the low-boron glass with 10% MgO addition that might control the glass crystallization. The reactions will be studied using a designed experiment that includes temperatures up to 1000°C. The glasses in their pure form will be studied, followed by studies of the glasses with chromia, alumina, and NiO (the scales that form on the alloys), and finally the glasses on monolithic alloy parts will be studied. In those cases where new crystalline phases are found, those phases will be isolated and prepared in their pure form, and then their anisotropic thermal expansion will be measured using HTXRD.

Expected Results:

The expected results include a full description of the behavior of the glasses, the metals, and their interactions. The reaction mechanisms, phases formed, and reaction kinetics will be reported. In addition, typical microstructures and wetting behavior will complement the phase development data. All of the information is expected to be of value in fuel cell design efforts as well as being a guide for future materials development of both sealing glasses and metals.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 3 publications for this subprojectView all 34 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 journal articles for this subprojectView all 6 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainable industry/business, technology for sustainable environment, clean technologies, environmental materials, glass technology, energy, environmental engineering, alternative energy source, ceramic materials, clean energy, renewable energy, green building design, hydrogen, diffusion, hollow glass microspheres, photo-enhanced hydrogen diffusion,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, NOx reduction, clean energy, cleaner production, sustainable development, clean technologies, environmental conscious construction, clean manufacturing, energy efficiency, energy technology, emissions control, fuel cell design, environmentally conscious design, reaction kinetics

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R830420    Center for Environmental and Energy Research (CEER)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R828737C001 Environmental Impact of Fuel Cell Power Generation Systems
    R828737C002 Regional Economic and Material Flows
    R828737C003 Visualizing Growth and Sustainability of Water Resources
    R828737C004 Vibratory Residual Stress Relief and Modifications in Metals to Conserve Resources and Prevent Pollution
    R828737C005 Detecting and Quantifying the Evolution of Hazardous Air Pollutants Produced During High Temperature Manufacturing: A Focus on Batching of Nitrate Containing Glasses
    R828737C006 Sulfate and Nitrate Dynamics in the Canacadea Watershed
    R828737C007 Variations in Subsurface Denitrifying and Sulfate-Reducing Microbial Populations as a Result of Acid Precipitation
    R828737C008 Recycling Glass-Reinforced Thermoset Polymer Composite Materials
    R828737C009 Correlating Clay Mineralogy with Performance: Reducing Manufacturing Waste Through Improved Understanding
    R830420C001 Accelerated Hydrogen Diffusion Through Glass Microspheres: An Enabling Technology for a Hydrogen Economy
    R830420C002 Utilization of Paper Mill Waste in Ceramic Products
    R830420C003 Development of Passive Humidity-Control Materials
    R830420C004 Microarray System for Contaminated Water Analysis
    R830420C005 Material and Environmental Sustainability in Ceramic Processing
    R830420C006 Interaction of Sealing Glasses with Metallic Interconnects in Solid Oxide and Polymer Fuel Cells
    R830420C007 Preparation of Ceramic Glaze Waste for Recycling using Froth Flotation
    R830420C008 Elimination of Lead from Ceramic Glazes by Refractive Index Tailoring
    R830420C010 Nanostructured C6B: A Novel Boron Rich Carbon for H2 Storage