Sustainable hydrogen production via LiH hydrolysis for unmanned air vehicle (UAV) applications

Martin Khzouz, Evangelos Gkanas, Alesandro Girella, Thomas Statheros, Chiara Milanese

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)
    205 Downloads (Pure)


    In the current study, an experimental approach for the further understanding of the LiH hydrolysis reaction for hydrogen production is considered. The experimental work has been undertaken under small scale conditions by utilising fixed bed reactors. The hydrolysis reaction has been studied at several oven temperatures (150 C, 300 C and 500 C). The favourable driving potentials for the hydrolysis reactions were identified by the utilisation of the Gibbs free energy analysis. The main outcome of the study is the deceleration of the reaction pace due to the formation of the by-product layers during the reaction. At the initial stage, due to the contact of steam with the unreacted and fresh LiH surface, the reaction proceeds on a fast pace, while the formation of the layers tends to decelerate the diffusion of steam into the core of material, forcing the production step to be slower.
    The hydrogen yield was found to be more than 90% of the theoretical value for all the reaction temperatures. Finally, a scenario of a hybrid-electric propulsion system for Unmanned
    Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) including Li-ion battery, Proton Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) and an on-board hydrogen production system based on LiH hydrolysis is introduced and studied.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5384-5394
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
    Issue number8
    Early online date22 Jun 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 45:8 (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.05.189

    © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


    • Hydrogen generator
    • Hydrogen production
    • LiH hydrolysis
    • Metal hydrides
    • Steam hydrolysis
    • Unmanned aerial vehicles

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Fuel Technology
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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