Hydrogen on Demand

Project Description

We are developing portable hydrogen storage and delivery systems that improve on the energy densities of lithium-ion battery technologies. These devices are intended for use by United States Navy personnel during expeditionary missions to complement batteries and lighten the load that soldiers are required to carry while still meeting their energy demands.

Our proposed systems are designed to store energy in the form of ammonia borane, a safe and highly efficient solid-state hydrogen storage material. Ammonia borane is stable under ambient conditions and is inert towards air and moisture, but will release three equivalencies of hydrogen gas when reacted with water and a promoter or catalyst. We have proposed to promote hydrolysis using organic acids, which are low cost, low toxicity, and capable of sequestering ammonia, thereby purifying the generated hydrogen gas stream. Organic acids are robust reaction promoters that have been shown to be capable of facilitating hydrolysis in the presence of common water contaminants, allowing a system architecture in which water is gathered from the environment at the time of use, significantly improving the energy density of the system under storage.


Our project objectives are twofold:

  1. Demonstrate organic acids to be low cost, low toxicity, and highly active hydrolysis promoters capable of facilitating the release of highly pure hydrogen gas from ammonia borane.
  2. Design and fabricate hydrogen reactors that utilize ammonia borane, organic acids, and water to provide on-demand release of highly pure hydrogen in order to power air-breathing fuel cell


Groom, T. B., Drolet, M. P., Gabl, J. R., & Pourpoint, T. L., Hydrogen Generation via Organic Acid-Promoted Hydrolysis of Ammonia Borane for Fuel Cell Applications, (Submitted for Publication).

Groom, T. B., Drolet, M. P., Gabl, J.R., and Pourpoint, T. L., Organic Acid–Promoted Hydrolysis of Ammonia Borane under Strained Conditions, 2018 International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Jul. 2018. DOI: 10.2514/6.2018-4800


Timothee Pourpoint profile picture

Timothee Pourpoint

Aeronautics and Astronautics

Contact Information

Timothee Pourpoint
Timothee Pourpoint
Associate Professor
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Email: timothee@purdue.edu