hydrogen, recovery, metal hydride, lanthanum nickel, aluminum, ball milling


Waste streams of hydrogen and helium mixtures are produced at the Kennedy Space Center during purging of the hydrogen systems and supply lines. This process is done prior to and after hydrogen servicing. The purged waste gases are lost to the atmosphere, resulting in an annual loss of 2 million and 0.1 million standard cubic meters of helium and hydrogen, respectively. Recovery of these gases will have an economic benefit. Metals, alloys, and intermetallics are known to react with hydrogen in favorable conditions; therefore, they have the possibility of serving as separating and recovery agents. In this study, Mg2Ni, VTiNi and LaNi5 were studied for the separation of H2 from He, using differential scanning calorimetry and thermal volumetric analysis. The ability of LaNi5 to react with hydrogen reversibly at room temperature was verified, and further analysis focused on this compound. Size reduction and activation of LaNi5 by mechanical milling was investigated using different milling parameters for the purpose of activating the material for hydrogen absorption. Because it has been shown that addition of aluminum to LaNi5 resulted in improved hydriding and dehydriding properties, that system was studied further here. In this study, aluminum was added to LaNi5 by mechanical milling. Hydriding properties and elemental compositions of the samples were determined afterwards. The hydrogen absorption rate and capacity were compared to that of LaNi5. Both LaNi5 and its Al doped derivatives exhibited a reduced rate of hydrogen uptake and a reduced hydrogen capacity in the presence of helium. The effects of coating the samples with either gold-palladium or platinum were investigated. It was observed that coating the samples with Pt reduced the negative effect of He, whereas AuPd coating did not have any effect. Larger scale studies were done using a continuous U-tube hydride reactor, built and tested for separation of H2¬ from a 20:80 H2:He mixture. The amount of hydrogen retained in the bed was determined and found to be less than that for the batch systems.


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Graduation Date





Hampton, Michael


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences



Degree Program

Industrial Chemistry








Release Date

August 2005

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Chemistry Commons