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Hydrogen energy future with formic acid: a renewable chemical hydrogen storage system

By Ashish Kumar Singh, Suryabhan Singh and Abhinav Kumar


Formic acid, the simplest carboxylic acid, is found in nature or can be easily synthesized in the laboratory (major by-product of some second generation biorefinery processes); it is also an important chemical due to its myriad applications in pharmaceuticals and industry. In recent years, formic acid has been used as an important fuel either without reformation (in direct formic acid fuel cells, DFAFCs) or with reformation (as a potential chemical hydrogen storage material). Owing to the better efficiency of DFAFCs compared to several other PEMFCs and reversible hydrogen storage systems, formic acid could serve as one of the better fuels for portable devices, vehicles and other energy-related applications in the future. This perspective is focused on recent developments in the use of formic acid as a reversible source for hydrogen storage. Recent developments in this direction will likely give access to a variety of low-cost and highly efficient rechargeable hydrogen fuel cells within the next few years by the use of suitable homogeneous metal complex/heterogeneous metal nanoparticle-based catalysts under ambient reaction conditions. The production of formic acid from atmospheric CO2 (a greenhouse gas) will decrease the CO2 content and may be helpful in reducing global warming

Topics: Inorganic & Physical Chemistry
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1039/c5cy01276g
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