The role of Fe particle size and oxide distribution on the hydrogenation properties of ball-milled nano-crystalline powder mixtures of Fe and Mg
In the aim of evidencing the relationship between Mg2FeH6 synthesis and the size of Fe particles, several specimens have been prepared by applying various milling energies (milling time) on a 2.1 Mg and 1Fe powder mixture doped with a small fraction of Unsaturated Fatty Amine (UFA). The resulting nano-crystalline composite structures display a broad Fe particle size distribution as a function of milling time. The hydrogenation of those complex powders has been conducted at temperatures lower than 400 °C under 60 bar of hydrogen pressure. As expected, the Fe particle size significantly influenced the hydrogenation kinetics. Also, the inevitable distribution of a minor fraction of oxides occurring during the milling process affected greatly the hydrogen storage capacity. Under the low pressure and temperature conditions selected in the frame of this study, lower than 100 bar and 500 °C conventionally used for synthesis of high purity Mg2FeH6, the hydrogenation reaction was demonstrated to be almost completed within 6 h, confirming the fast hydrogen absorption capability of the prepared materials. Plus, nearly 84 wt% of Mg2FeH6 was achieved under the afore mentioned moderate conditions and a minor fraction of unreacted Fe still remained due to diffusion constraints existing at low temperatures.