In this paper the properties of Mg-Al alloys in relation to hydrogen storage are reviewed. The main topics of this paper are materials preparation, hydrogen capacity, thermodynamics of hydride formation, and the kinetics of hydride formation and decomposition. Hydrogenation of Mg-Al leads to disproportionation with the formation of magnesium hydride and metallic aluminum as the final product. Experimental evidence renders this process reversible. It is observed that the enthalpy of hydride formation of magnesium is lowered upon alloying with Al due to a slightly endothermic disproportionation reaction. Further, it is found that the kinetics of hydrogenation, as well dehydrogenation, may be significantly improved by alloying compared to pure Mg. The expense of these improvements of the hydrogenation/dehydrogenation properties is a lower gravimetric hydrogen density in the hydrogenated product, (C) 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.