The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced approximately $15.8 million for 30 new projects aiming to advance the nation’s hydrogen economy.
Specifically, the funding is to be used to explore and develop new, low-cost materials necessary for hydrogen production and storage and for fuel cells on board light-duty vehicles.
Selected projects will leverage national lab consortia launched under the DOE’s Energy Materials Network (EMN) this past year in support of the DOE’s materials research and advanced manufacturing priorities.
As reported, selections were made under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office annual funding opportunity announcement (FOA) in 2017. The 2017 FOA solicited early-stage materials research to advance the department’s goals of enabling economic and efficient transportation via fuel cell electric vehicles that use hydrogen fuel produced from diverse domestic resources.
According to the DOE, more than 2,000 fuel cell vehicles have been sold or leased in the U.S. since 2015. These consume 95% less petroleum per mile than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles, have no tailpipe emissions, and offer quiet operation.
The 30 selected projects will cover the following topics:
- Topic 1: PGM-free Catalyst and Electrode R&D — Four projects will leverage the Electrocatalysis Consortium (ElectroCat) to accelerate the development of catalysts made without platinum group metals for use in fuel cells for transportation.
- Topic 2: Advanced Water Splitting Materials — 19 projects will leverage the HydroGEN Consortium to accelerate the development of advanced water-splitting materials for hydrogen production, with an initial focus on advanced electrolytic, photoelectrochemical and solar thermochemical pathways.
- Topic 3: Hydrogen Storage Materials Discovery — Four projects will leverage the Hydrogen Materials—Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) to address unsolved scientific challenges in the development of viable solid-state materials for hydrogen storage on board light-duty vehicles.
- Topic 4: Precursor Development for Low-Cost, High-Strength Carbon Fiber — Three projects will reduce the cost of onboard hydrogen storage tanks necessary for fuel cell vehicles. These projects will pursue new approaches to developing precursors for high-strength carbon fiber at half the cost of current materials. Resources from LightMAT (a DOE Vehicle Technologies Office-managed EMN consortium) and IACMI (an institute for advanced composites research within the Manufacturing USA network managed by the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office) may also be leveraged by the awardees.
Click here to view the selected projects and recipients.