0
$\begingroup$

With atomic radii very similar, could helium dissolve into metallic foam about as well as hydrogen, thus making metal hydrite hydrogen tanks suitable for helium as well?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Absolutely not! $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Mar 23 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ He can be conveniently stored in pressurised steel bottles or, slighly less convenient, in liquid form. There are no mobile applications that need significant amounts of helium. $\endgroup$ – Karl Mar 23 at 8:29
4
$\begingroup$

Hydrogen does not just insert itself physically into the metal. Although only a few metals form stoichiometric hydrides with predominantly ionic character, most of them (and all those involved in hydrogen/hydride storage) form some type of bond, generally involving saturation of the hydrogen 1s orbital with ionic or polar covalent bonding. Helium simply does not have such capability for the same reasons it does not bond with much else, and it is generally not significantly soluble in metals.

An introduction to various methods to store hydrogen is given by Wikipedia. The US Department of Energy reviews some proposed materials here.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.