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Materials 2012, 5(10), 1740-1751; doi:10.3390/ma5101740

Study of Morphological Changes in MgH2 Destabilized LiBH4 Systems Using Computed X-ray Microtomography

1,* , 2
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Science Hall, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA 2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute for Micromanufacturing, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71270, USA 3 Department of Chemistry, 329 Choppin Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 71245, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2012 / Revised: 25 August 2012 / Accepted: 4 September 2012 / Published: 26 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hydrogen Storage Materials)
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The objective of this study was to apply three-dimensional x-ray microtomographic imaging to understanding morphologies in the diphasic destabilized hydride system: MgH2 and LiBH4. Each of the single phase hydrides as well as two-phase mixtures at LiBH4:MgH2 ratios of 1:3, 1:1, and 2:1 were prepared by high energy ball milling for 5 minutes (with and without 4 mol % TiCl3 catalyst additions). Samples were imaged using computed microtomography in order to (i) establish measurement conditions leading to maximum absorption contrast between the two phases and (ii) determine interfacial volume. The optimal energy for measurement was determined to be 15 keV (having 18% transmission for the MgH2 phase and above 90% transmission for the LiBH4 phase). This work also focused on the determination of interfacial volume. Results showed that interfacial volume for each of the single phase systems, LiBH4 and MgH2, did not change much with catalysis using 4 mol % TiCl3. However, for the mixed composite system, interphase boundary volume was always higher in the catalyzed system; increasing from 15% to 33% in the 1:3 system, from 11% to 20% in the 1:1 system, and 2% to 14% in the 2:1 system. The parameters studied are expected to govern mass transport (i.e., diffusion) and ultimately lead to microstructure-based improvements on H2 desorption and uptake rates.
Keywords: microtomography; MgH2; LiBH4; destabilized hydrides microtomography; MgH2; LiBH4; destabilized hydrides
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Dobbins, T.; NaraseGowda, S.; Butler, L.G. Study of Morphological Changes in MgH2 Destabilized LiBH4 Systems Using Computed X-ray Microtomography. Materials 2012, 5, 1740-1751.

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