Investigating the Aging Behavior of High-Density Polyethylene and Polyketone in a Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier

Jyothsna Sai Swaroop Surisetty, Mohammadhossein Sharifian, Thomas Lucyshyn, Clemens Holzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Hydrogen is recognized as a significant potential energy source and energy carrier for the future. On the one hand, storing hydrogen is a challenging task due to its low volumetric density, on the other hand, a particular type of hydrogen in the form of a liquid can be used to store large quantities of hydrogen at ambient conditions in thermoplastic tanks. But storing hydrogen in this form for a long time in polymer tanks affects the physical and chemical properties of the liner. In the current automotive industry, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has already been used in existing fuel tank applications. However long-term exposure to fuels leads to the permeation of hydrocarbons into the polymers, resulting in a loss of mechanical properties and reducing the efficiency of fuel cells (FC) in automotive applications. Additionally, facing material shortages and a limited supply of resin leads to an increase in the cost of the material. Therefore, an alternative material is being searched for, especially for hydrogen fuel tank applications. In this study, two semi-crystalline thermoplastics, HDPE and polyketone (POK), were compared, which were exposed to a selected liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) at 25 °C and 60 °C for up to 500 h in an enclosed chamber, to measure their fuel up-take. A short analysis was carried out using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and mechanical testing to understand the influence of the LOHC on the polymer over time. Fuel sorption and tensile properties showed a plasticizing effect on HDPE. The material degradation was more pronounced for the aged samples of HDPE in comparison to POK. As expected, thermal aging was increased at 60 °C. The fuel absorption of POK was lower compared to HDPE. A slight increase in crystallinity was observed in POK due to the aging process that led to changes in mechanical properties. Both HDPE and POK samples did not show any chemical changes during the aging process in the oven at 25 °C and 60 °C.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4410
Number of pages14
JournalPolymers
Volume15.2023
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023

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