Hydrogen is a reliable energy vector and its storage is strongly connected to the costs, performance and level of safety of the storage system components. Several materials for physical and chemical hydrogen storage have been proposed, but few research works were devoted to polymers, that generally are low cost and weight materials, easy to be managed and manufactured. In this work, a functionalised Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) polymer was studied and chosen as a base polymeric matrix with the aim to produce both a low cost and low weight hydrogen storage material. The polymer was in situ functionalised starting from a manganese oxide precursor. The obtained oxide, bonded to the polymer chain, allows the hydrogen storage. In this work, the functionalisation process and preliminary results of the hydrogen storage capability are reported.
From Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and surface area measurements (BET), it has been verified that the metallic compound introduction modifies the morphology of the material, supplies an increased surface area for hydrogen chemisorption, revealing a 1.2%wt/wt hydrogen adsorption capability at 77 K. Preliminary results by Gravimetric Hydrogen Absorption measurements show that by increasing the temperature, the hydrogen storage capability is reduced and a value of 0.3%wt/wt at 50°C and 80 absolute bar was obtained. The reversibility cycles of hydrogen adsorption-desorption seem to be confirmed. For this reason such approach has been considered as a promising pathway and deeper studies are in progress.