R.B. Schwarz (1998, 93-95) has pointed out that nanostructured materials offer several potential advantages for hydrogen storage materials. Rapid kinetics of absorption/desorption can be aided by refining the microstructure to the nanoscale. For example, nanoscale inclusions of Mg2Ni in Mg catalyze the decomposition of the molecular hydrogen, increasing the hydrogen absorption/desorption kinetics. Another advantage of the nanoscale microstructure is that the alloy powder does not comminute on repeated charging/discharging with hydrogen. This is not strictly a bulk material, since powder agglomerates or green compacts can be used, thus obviating the need for compaction to theoretical density.
The limited work to date on corrosion resistance of nanocrystalline materials indicates that no generalizations can be made. Superior localized corrosion resistance in HCl was observed for nanocrystalline 304 stainless steel (Fe-18%Cr-8%Ni) prepared by sputter deposition (Inturi and Szklavska-Smialowska 1991 and 1992). This was attributed to the fine grain size and homogeneity of the nc material. However, the average dissolution rate of nc Ni was found to be higher than that for coarse-grained material (Rofagha et al. 1991).