Lydia Pickering’s report

13th International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems 21st – 26th October 2012 in Kyoto, Japan

Picture of Lydia Pickering at the conference
Lydia Pickering standing by her poster, poised ready to answer any questions.

I am a third year PhD student at the School of Metallurgy and Materials in the University of Birmingham.  My research is investigating novel Ti-V based metal hydrides for use within hydrogen storage tanks for fuel cell vehicles.  These types of hydrogen storage alloys have been shown to have uses in a wide range of transportation applications; from passenger road vehicles to fleets of public busses and even canal boats.

Last month, due to the financial support gratefully awarded to me by the Simon Wolff Charitable Foundation, I was able to attend the 13th International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems on 21st – 26th October in Kyoto, Japan.  The Metal-Hydrogen Systems symposium has been a biennial event since the 1970’s and is the most prestigious and longest running conference on how metals interact with hydrogen.  The conference allows researchers from both industrial and academic backgrounds to come together to share and discuss their findings on a variety of subject areas associated with metal-hydrogen interactions, including materials for hydrogen storage and their applications, amongst others.

Kyoto is situated in the southern-central region of Kansai and is the former imperial capital of Japan.  To this day it is still widely considered to be the cultural heart of Japan, featuring over 2000 temples and shrines.

Kyoto is also the city where, in 1997, a legally binding agreement was drawn up between countries to meet emissions reduction targets of all greenhouse gases by 2012 relative to 1990 levels.  This makes it a fitting location for a conference centred around carbon-neutral technologies.

The first planetary lecture was given by Professor Etsuo Akiba who explained that the Japanese earthquake on March 2011, which tragically took the lives of around 16,000 people and caused the release of radioactive material from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, has led to an increase of awareness into carbon-neutral technologies in Japan.   This has not only resulted in an increase in scientific activity into such technologies but also a review of Energy Policy to establish a society that does not depend on nuclear energy and help restore public confidence in scientists and engineers.

After the introductory planetary lectures, for the remainder of the conference there were three parallel sessions of talks.  With such an impressive schedule of presentations it was difficult to decide which talks to attend!

Some of the talks which were of interest to me included :

  • “New useful functions of hydrogen in materials” (M. Okada) : This covered a range of applications including magnostrictive stress sensors such as La(FexSi1-x)13 compounds, switchable mirrors and hydrogenation disproportionation desorption recombination (HDDR) functions for microstructural control.
  •  “Application-specific targets and engineering considerations to guide hydrogen storage materials development” (N. Stetson) : Highlighted the importance of taking into account both the material and system for specific requirements, not just the DOE targets as a whole (system gravimetric density of 9 wt% and volumetric density of 81 g/L by 2015).
  • “Physical potentials and limitations of hydrogen storage” (A. Zuttel) : Wealth = Energy + Materials.  Mobility accounts for 36% of consumption per capita (in UK) and is increasing annually. To put things into perspective, 1 L oil = 2.7 kg wood = 1 kg coal = 1 m2 biomass = 0.1 m2 PV (solar) cells, but the problem is still storage.
  •  “Faster activation and hydrogenation/dehydrogenation in transition metals” (D. Fruchart) : AB2 Ti-V-Cr alloys are good catalysts for Mg and their alloys.  BCC alloys undergo two phase transformations BCC-FCC and hydrogen occupies tetrahedral sites in both structures.
  • “Structural and hydrogenation properties of hydrogen storage alloys for on board storage” (Y. Nakamura) : Fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen storage tanks will be launched in 2015.  The properties of metal hydrides can be easily changed by combination/substitution of elements, the key factors control properties are; atomic size, hole size, cell volume, order/disorder and lattice defects.  Controlling atomic arrangements and sites is therefore key.
  • Development of hybrid hydrogen tank for fuel cell vehicles (S. Tsunokake) : Japan Metals & Chemicals Co, Ltd.  First fuel cells vehicles launched were 1997, Mazda, and 1999, Honda.  Hybrid hydrogen tanks increase gravimetric density but in doing so decrease the volumetric density.

During the conference, I was invited to take part in the poster presentation session.  This provided me with the opportunity to present my work to fellow students and academics.

Much of the work I have carried out has been centred on work previously carried out by several Japanese groups back in early 1990’s.  It was therefore great to actually meet some of the researchers who first investigated these Ti-V systems and hear their feedback on my work.

As well as providing me with a greater understanding of these materials, speaking to internationally renowned experts in this area also developed my confidence in presenting my work, which I am sure will prove invaluable now I am entering the final stages of my PhD.

After the conference I stayed in Japan for a few extra days to do a bit of exploring and try to immerse myself in the culture.  My brief travels saw me visiting Hiroshima, Osaka and Tokyo which were all fantastic cities to experience.  Highlights of my travelling included; the thought provoking A-bomb memorial site in Hiroshima – a shocking reminder of the incomprehensible damage the city suffered when it was subject to such a brutal attack at the end of World War II, wondering around the beautiful Osaka castle and its’ surrounding grounds, spotting some sumo wrestlers casually wondering around the streets the night before a big competition, eating in arguably one of the best locations for sushi in Japan and the contrast between old and new in the world’s most populated metropolis that is Tokyo.

I would, once again, like to thank the Simon Wolff Charitable Foundation for awarding me a travel grant which enabled me to attend such a prestigious conference and for their continued commitment to supporting young researchers.

62 thoughts on “Lydia Pickering’s report”

  1. Ask for the details and tariff at your earliest since space
    could be very restricted with a view to avoid any disappointment.

  2. Good ԁay very nice web site!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing ..
    I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I ɑm glad to seek out numerous helpful information here in the post, we’d like wordk oᥙt more
    strategies in thhis regard, thank you fоr sharing.

  3. hey there and thank you for your info ? I have certainly picked up something new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical points using
    this site, as I experienced to reload the
    web site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times
    will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out
    for a lot more of your respective exciting content.

    Ensure that you update this again very soon.

  4. Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for information about this topic
    for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve found out so far.
    But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure concerning the supply?

  5. Hola! I’ve been reading your web site for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from New Caney Texas! Just wanted
    to say keep up the good job!

  6. Wonderful website. Lots of helpful info here.
    I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thank you to your sweat!

  7. I know this website provides quality dependent articles or reviews and
    additional data, is there any other web site which provides such stuff in quality?

  8. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you
    require any coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  9. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!

  10. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will
    forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have
    a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  11. you’re in reality a just right webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    Also, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a excellent
    task on this matter!

  12. Greetings! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally
    got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the great work!

  13. Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  14. I’m really loving the theme/design of your web site.
    Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility
    problems? A handful of my blog readers have complained about
    my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great
    in Chrome. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  15. I think that what you published made a lot
    of sense. But, consider this, what if you were to write a awesome
    post title? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your website, however suppose you added a title to maybe get folk’s
    attention? I mean Lydia Pickering’s report – The Simon Wolff Charitable Foundation is kinda vanilla.

    You should peek at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create news headlines to
    grab viewers interested. You might add a related video or a picture or two to get people interested about what you’ve
    got to say. In my opinion, it could make your website a little bit more

  16. I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and
    let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something which not enough men and women are speaking intelligently
    about. Now i’m very happy that I found this during my search
    for something concerning this.

  17. What’s up, constantly i used to check blog posts here in the
    early hours in the break of day, because i like to gain knowledge of more and more.

  18. I appreciate, cause I found just what I used to be having a look
    for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a
    nice day. Bye

  19. We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable information to work
    on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  20. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but
    I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any
    please share. Appreciate it!

  21. Good day I am so happy I found your site, I really found you by error, while I was researching on Bing for something
    else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic
    post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    read through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please
    do keep up the excellent b.

  22. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.

    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly
    the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  23. I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours.

    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful
    than ever before.

  24. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am going through problems with
    your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to join it.
    Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  25. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out
    and say I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?

    Thank you!

  26. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely useful information particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and good luck.

  27. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your website.
    It looks like some of the text within your content are running
    off the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening
    to them as well? This could be a problem with
    my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.


  28. Good ? I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site.

    I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to
    access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all.
    Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme
    . a tones way for your client to communicate. Excellent task.

  29. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I recieve four emails with the same comment.
    Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service?

  30. Fantastic website. Lots of helpful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thank you on your sweat!

  31. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time
    to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to
    this article. I want to read even more things about

  32. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will send
    this information to him. Pretty sure he will
    have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

  33. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same
    page layout and design. Great choice of colors!

  34. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!

    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to
    all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  35. of course like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling issues
    and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth
    on the other hand I’ll surely come back again.

  36. I think that is among the such a lot significant information for
    me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But
    should remark on few common issues, The website taste is wonderful, the articles is truly excellent : D.

    Good task, cheers

  37. Unquestionably consider that that you said. Your favourite justification appeared to
    be at the net the simplest factor to take into account of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked even as other people consider worries that they just don’t understand about.
    You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , folks
    could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *