Technological developments aimed at realizing effective utilization of hydrogen energy are being vigorously pursued to deal with issues related to the global environment and global warming as well as to ensure energy security. Materials science related to purification (production), storage (transportation), and utilization of hydrogen, have been discussed extensively in the Japan Institute of Metals. So far, the Japan Institute of Metals has conducted: regular sessions such as ``Hydrogen'', ``Hydrogen Storage Materials'', and ``Hydrogen Permeation Materials'' (total of about 120 lectures a year); a series of symposiums on ``Hydrogen Energy Materials'' (held 3 times thus far, with the 4th scheduled to be held at the Okinawa session this year); and a session theme in PRICM7 (The 7th Pacific Rim International Conference on Advanced Materials and Processing in 2010 at Cairns, Australia), ``Energy Generation, Harvesting and Storage Materials'' (a total of about 30 lectures).
This special issue includes the latest research findings of the 16 reports that focus on the development of hydrogen storage/permeation materials, where almost half are about metal hydrides and about half are about complex hydrides. It is noticeable that the research studies on metal hydrides are mainly focused on fundamental analysis, whereas those on complex hydrides are focused on synthesis and reaction promotion. In addition, this special issue includes literature on computational materials science that is expected to gain more importance in this field.
The Japan Institute of Metals continually aims to develop related materials science by conducting active lectures and discussions on both aspects, fundamental and applied, of metal and complex hydrides, while focusing on ``hydrogen as an energy'' as well as ``hydrogen for materials development''. These topics are highly focused also in China and active researches are being made by Chinese scientists. Further, fresh insights on materials science are expected from the information exchange between Japan and China regarding advanced research activities. We hope this special issue provides valuable contribution to these research activities.
On a final note, we sincerely wish to express our gratitude to all the researchers who contributed to the latest research findings as well as to all the reviewers who took the time out of their busy schedules to thoroughly and suggestively review the papers.
February 4, 2011
(Received ; Accepted ; Published )
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