University of Montpellier, France

Contact information

Place Eugene Bataillon
34090 Montpellier France

00 33 4 67 14 91 60

Presentation Title

Sodium borohydride as hydrogen carrier, a ‘rough diamond’ that has entered into the age of prototypes


Sodium borohydride (SB) as H2 source is an old compound with new interest. Actually, not so new, for the reason that it has been much investigated since the late 1990s. Going back to the beginning of the history of SB, it was discovered in the 1940s, and at that time, it was found to be an attractive H carrier being able to release H2 by hydrolysis at ambient conditions. Half a century after, SB as H carrier was re-discovered, but this time for being developed as a technological solution to store H and release, on demand, H2 at the most favorable operating conditions. More than 20 years have passed since then, and SB is still the ‘rough diamond’ that it was.
We started to work on SB, namely on H2 release by hydrolysis of SB, about 15 years ago. Like the great majority of the research groups active in the field, we focused on catalysis whereas we overlooked other equally important, or even much more important, aspects. For example, too few prototypes have been developed, and our understanding of the scaled-up H2 release by hydrolysis of SB is rather limited. That is why, 3 years ago, we initiated works focusing on scaling-up and SB-based prototypes. The main lesson we have learned to date is that there are great differences between the lab-scale hydrolysis of SB and the prototype-scale reaction.
Following the online interview that I gave to the Turkish Hydrogen Association in February 2021, the IHTEC 2021 meeting will be a great opportunity to discuss about the technological prospects of SB, a ‘rough diamond’, especially for Turkey.


UBD received his PhD in physical chemistry in 2002 at the University of Strasbourg, France. After several professional experiences, he was recruited, in 2007, as associate professor at the University of Lyon I, France, focusing on hydrogen storage/generation, B-based materials, and catalysis. In 2011, he was transferred at the University of Montpellier, France. Since 2015, he is professor, still working on e.g. B- and N-based materials for hydrogen storage. He has also started a new research dedicated to amine boranes and materials for reversible H2 storage. He (orcid 0000-0003-3616-1810) has co-authored more than 140 peer-reviewed papers. He is assistant editor for International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.