I-Link 2020

i-LINK C.S.I.C Programme


The general objective of the i-LINK+ Programme is to stimulate the collaboration between CSIC research groups and international research groups of the highest relevance by means of its own resources. No geographical or thematic restrictions are contemplated in the call, but there must be a common and complementary research theme between the partners for the development of which they have adequate funding independently in their respective centres. All these within the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals. The central objective of this programme is:

  • To create and consolidate international consortia of excellence in order to compete in future
    calls for international R&D&I projects.
  • The activities promoted by this programme are the realization of work and specialization stays of the CSIC research groups, as well as the research groups of the participating entities in both directions. It also includes meetings, seminars and other internationalisation activities between the participating research groups within the framework of a common research project.
  • The expected impact of the Programme is to improve the internationalisation of the CSIC through the consolidation of stable links of scientific cooperation between CSIC teams and foreign scientific institutions of excellence.



Hydrogen is on the basis of various technological developments related to fuels or energy in general. Hydrogen is a key molecule in green and renewable energies as its combustion generates only water, releasing a good amount of energy. As the lightest molecular gas, the storage and release of this new generation fuel is a fundamental step in the development of new clean alternatives to traditional sources of energy. In this second aspect there have been many propositions for achieving as much hydrogen storage as possible, each of them having its pros and cons

[1]. One of the proposals to achieve this goal is the use of porous materials, such as zeolites, clathrate hydrates, metal organic frameworks and porous carbonaceous materials (see [2] for a recent review). There is a special segment of industry where these hydrogen technologies would be very much welcome as is the use for private cars and light vehicles. Specific indicator to express the storage capacity, related to the total mass or volume are the gravimetric and volumetric capacities and, according to the US Department of Energy, the ultimate storage density –updated to 2017- is of 6.5% of H2 in weight (0.050 kg H2/L system, volumetric) and expecting 5.5% in weight in 2025 [3]. We believe that porous carbon materials are worth exploring for hydrogen storage devices. One of the advantages of these materials is the very high specific surface area available for physical adsorption. In addition, binding of hydrogen to these substrates is ruled by (weak) non covalent forces, which is good for thermal management during charge and discharge of the storage unit. However, these interactions should be somewhat stronger in order to reach the desired storage capacity. Doping of carbon materials with alkali, alkaline-earth, or other metal atoms has been proposed as a mean to enhance adsorption energies. The idea is that the doping will not only enhance the capacity but also will stabilize the substrates against destruction during the ad/desorption process. As an example, the group in our consortium led by P. Scheier (Austria) has recently achieved experimental realization of the adsorption of H 2 by Cs+-doped C60 [4]. It was found that Cs+-C 60 directly attaches ten additional H 2 molecules as compared with C60+, paving the way to further detailed studies of this kind of systems. The objective of the present proposal is to form an international consortium for a joint experimental-theoretical study of the adsorption of hydrogen on ion-doped carbonaceous materials, more specifically, Li+/Na+-doped fullerenes/polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). From this basis, we aim to become competitive in future ambitious calls at the European level.

The proposal goals are therefore aligned with the sustainable development goals set up by U.N., in Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and Goal 13 (Climate Action), by producing new technologies that yield efficient and clean energy, and reducing the fossil fuel consumption responsible for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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[2] R. Moradi, K. M. Groth, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 44, 12254 (2019).
[3] https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/downloads/doe-targets-onboard-hydrogen-storage-systems-
[4].A. Kaiser, M. Renzler, L. Kranabetter, M. Schwärzler, R. Parajuli O Echt, P. Scheier, Int. J. Hydrogen
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