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POWERPASTE is an ultra-high capacity hydrogen storage substance for PEM fuel cell applications invented and developed by Fraunhofer IFAM.

POWERPASTE releases hydrogen on contact with water. It has a hydrogen capacity of about 10 mass-% (i.e. 10 kg POWERPASTE → 1 kg hydrogen). This is a specific energy of 1.6 kWhel/kg and an energy density of 1.9 kWh/liter, or about 10 times the capacity of Li-Ion batteries.

The award-winning POWERPASTE technology is patent-pending and offers many advantages over other energy storage technologies, in particular in the power range from 100 W to 10 kW.

Hydrogen-powered drives for e-scooters

Hydrogen is regarded by many as the future of propulsion technology. The first hydrogen-powered cars are already in action on German roads. In the case of e-scooters, however, installation of a high-pressure tank to store the hydrogen is impractical. An alternative here is POWERPASTE. This provides a safe way of storing hydrogen in a chemical form that is easy to transport and replenish without the need for an expensive network of filling stations. This new paste is based on magnesium hydride and was developed by a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden.

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Introducing POWERPASTE: An Advanced High-Energy Density Storage Solution

POWERPASTE is an innovative energy storage solution that utilizes the benefits of metal hydrides through a unique and adaptable composition. By combining magnesium hydride (MgH₂), a metal salt additive, and an ester, POWERPASTE delivers impressive energy densities of approximately 1.6 kWh/kg and 1.9 kWh/liter at the material level. The key feature of POWERPASTE is its ability to make the metal hydride doseable and the reaction notably dynamic. This versatile energy solution is suitable for a wide range of applications where water is available, making POWERPASTE an attractive alternative to traditional energy storage solutions, including batteries.

The hydrolysis of magnesium hydride in POWERPASTE generates gaseous hydrogen, which is then converted into electricity using fuel cells. This process enables the development of compact, safe, long-lasting, and cost-effective energy sources that outperform high-performance batteries in terms of energy density, even at the system level.

POWERPASTE Applications

  • Backup and emergency power
  • Standalone radiocommunication
  • Portable electronic devices and chargers
  • Portable stand-by power devices
  • Camping and outdoor equipment
  • Energy supplies for environmentally sensitive areas
  • Sensors and probes
  • Beacons, alarm systems, light signals
  • POWERPASTE for aviation energy supplies

Advantages of POWERPASTE

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden has successfully developed a process that hydrolyzes MgH₂ in an efficient and advantageous manner. This innovative approach addresses challenges faced by other hydrolysis materials, such as slow reaction speeds, expensive catalysts, high production costs, and material toxicity.

Key benefits of POWERPASTE include:

  • High gravimetric and volumetric energy densities nearing the theoretical maximum
  • Abundant supply of starting materials (i.e., Mg)
  • Competitive cost per kWh
  • Considerable optimization potential for large-scale production
  • Convenient material handling
  • Long shelf life, no self-discharge
  • Direct execution of the hydrolysis reaction with liquid water (no heat or steam required)
  • Adjustable reaction kinetics for application-specific needs
  • High reaction and system safety
  • Noiseless and zero-emission energy conversion
  • Non-toxicity of both the hydrolysis fuel and its byproducts

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden holds patents for various metal hydride-based hydrolysis fuels and their production methods. The invention was awarded at the 2013 f-cell award (1st place, category “science”) 

Background Information

Fraunhofer IFAM in Dresden and Grünland Handels GmbH in Austria are collaborating on the development and application of POWERPASTE technology for stationary applications, aiming to contribute to the field of hydrogen storage.

POWERPASTE has been showcased at the Hannover Fair since 2016. For the latest updates in POWERPASTE technology, watch the following presentation given at the Technical Forum of the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells EUROPE exhibition during Hannover Fair 2023: “Recent Advances in POWERPASTE: Changing the Future of Energy Storage | Hydrogen + Fuel Cells EUROPE”