Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has introduced a material solution for high-pressure composite tanks for hydrogen storage in its continuing mission to help reduce CO2 emissions.

The two-part tank design features a proven, blow molded liner made of Akulon Fuel Lock, a polyamide 6-based engineering plastic with a very high barrier to hydrocarbons. The tank can then potentially be further reinforced by wrapping it in unidirectional (UD) continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic tapes made of EcoPaXX polyamide 410. This combination of commercially available materials has already proven to be very effective in CNG tanks, and DSM is now actively testing the concept in hydrogen tanks.

The result would be the lightest-weight plastic tank available for hydrogen storage applications. Reducing weight is key, since every 10 kg removed from a vehicle roughly translates into a reduction in CO2 emissions from the vehicle on the road of one gram per km.

For the liner, Akulon Fuel Lock greatly reduces weight compared to metal. It also offers improved permeation versus polyolefin liners, meaning that the gas stays in the tank. The liner material, which is 100% recyclable, is safe with no debuckling.

Furthermore, the material is optimized to remain ductile and tough, even at extremely low temperatures (-40°C). This was important for CNG, but is even more vital for hydrogen storage, as the working pressures are much higher.

DSM will be showcasing the new material solutions for Hydrogen tanks at the IAA show in Frankfurt.