U.S. DOE Announces $14 Million to Advance Hydrogen Fuel Technologies

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A fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) at a fueling station in California. Energy Department photo

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $14 million in funding for the advancement of hydrogen fuel technologies. Specifically, these selections include advanced high-temperature water splitting, advanced compression, and thermal insulation technologies. These projects will accelerate American innovation in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies by supporting research and development and domestic manufacturing.

For cost-competitive transportation, hydrogen must be comparable to conventional fuels and technologies on a per-mile basis in order to succeed in the commercial marketplace. DOE’s current target is to reduce the cost of producing and delivering hydrogen to less than $4 per gallon of gas equivalent (gge) by 2020 and $7/gge for early markets.

To combat a limited supplier base, DOE is also announcing the launch of HFCNexus, an online tool for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, developed through a current DOE-funded project by Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University. A business-to-business website that connects fuel cell and hydrogen technology developers with potential suppliers, HFCNexus will be a resource when it comes to necessary equipment, such as hoses, nozzles, and meters.

The projects selected under this funding opportunity are:

HIGH TEMPERATURE WATER SPLITTING

  • Ceramatec Inc.; Salt Lake City, Utah—will improve the performance of durable materials for high temperature water splitting stack technology through the development of a novel cell architecture that introduces macro-features to provide mechanical support of a thin electrolyte, and micro-features of the electrodes to lower polarization losses.
  • Fuel Cell Energy, Inc.; Danbury, Connecticut—will demonstrate the potential of solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) systems to produce hydrogen at a cost of $2 per kilogram.
  • Giner, Inc.; Newton, Massachusetts—will develop high temperature alkaline water electrolyzers with improved electrical efficiency at a reduced cost.

ADVANCED COMPRESSION

  • Giner, Inc.; Newton, Massachusetts—will demonstrate a cost-effective method for compressing hydrogen while eliminating the need for mechanical compressors which can have significant reliability issues.
  • Greenway Energy, LLC; Aiken, South Carolina—to overcome the reliability issues of mechanical compression and the efficiency challenges of solid state compression technologies, this project combines two novel technologies, Electrochemical Hydrogen Compression (EHC) and Metal Hydride Compression (MHC), into a new hybrid solid state hydrogen compressor.
  • Sandia National Laboratories; Livermore, California—will investigate and demonstrate a laboratory scale two-stage metal hydride-based hydrogen gas compressor.

THERMAL INSULATION

  • Vencore Services and Solutions; Reston, Virginia—will apply integrated cryogenic tank approaches and novel technologies developed by NASA’s Cryogenics Test Laboratory to build an integrated subscale insulation system prototype demonstrating the heat leak targets applicable to cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks for commercially produced fuel cell powered automobiles.

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1 Comment

  • Bruce Miller says:

    At last! the USA “Lifts Off” on a science and technology that is not purely military in nature. Finally a science and technology for the American people.

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