Thermochemistry of Alane Complexes for Hydrogen Storage: A Theoretical and Experimental Investigation
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1021/jp112258s
Knowledge of the relative stabilities of alane (AlH(3)) complexes with electron donors is essential for identifying hydrogen storage materials for vehicular applications that can be regenerated by off-board methods; however, almost no thermodynamic data are available to make this assessment. To fill this gap, we employed the G4(MP2) method to determine heats of formation, entropies, and Gibbs free energies of formation for 38 alane complexes with NH(3-n)R(n) (R = Me, Et; n = 0-3), pyridine, pyrazine, triethylenediamine (TEDA), quinuclidine, OH(2-n)R(n) (R = Me, Et; n = 0-2), dioxane, and tetrahydrofuran (THF). Monomer, bis, and selected dimer complex geometries were considered. Using these data, we computed the thermodynamics of the key formation and dehydrogenation reactions that would occur during hydrogen delivery and alane regeneration, from which trends in complex stability were identified. These predictions were tested by synthesizing six amine-alane complexes involving trimethylamine, triethylamine, dimethylethylamine, TEDA, quinuclidine, and hexamine and obtaining upper limits of ΔG° for their formation from metallic aluminum. Combining these computational and experimental results, we establish a criterion for complex stability relevant to hydrogen storage that can be used to assess potential ligands prior to attempting synthesis of the alane complex. On the basis of this, we conclude that only a subset of the tertiary amine complexes considered and none of the ether complexes can be successfully formed by direct reaction with aluminum and regenerated in an alane-based hydrogen storage system.