Solvent-free Mechanochemical Synthesis of Alane (AlH3) at Room Temperature

Solvent-free Mechanochemical Synthesis of Alane (AlH3) at Room Temperature

Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory researchers have developed a process for the synthesis of alane with quantitative yields at ambient temperature and moderate hydrogen or ambient gas pressure while controlling side reactions. This novel synthesis route significantly increases yields and reduces the production costs for this compound.
Abstract: 
Alane exceeds the DOE performance criteria for hydrogen storage for transportation vehicles, but does not have a cost-efficient production route. Synthesis of alane by metathesis reactions in organic solvents is inefficient because of the need to remove solvents from the resultant alane solvates that inevitably leads to thermal decomposition of a substantial fraction of the formed alane. Traditional mechanochemical synthetic routes require cryogenic processing to control side reactions leading to decomposition of more than 60% of the formed alane. This new method allows for the use of a mechanochemical process at ambient temperatures and slightly elevated hydrogen or inert gas pressures to produce alane while still suppressing side reactions to produce alane in quantitative yields. By eliminating the desolvation step inherent in the solvent-based route and the cryogenic environment of traditional mechanochemical synthesis, this novel synthesis route significantly increases yields and reduces the production costs for this compound.
Benefits: 
(P)
applications: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
4196
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