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Posted: August 20, 2008

U.S. Department of Energy invests $15.3 million in hydrogen storage for vehicles

(Nanowerk News) The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on August 14 that it has selected 10 hydrogen storage research and development projects to receive $15.3 million over the next 5 years, subject to annual appropriations.
The projects will investigate novel hydrogen storage materials and efficient methods for regenerating hydrogen storage materials. Most of the projects focus on using either metal hydrides, which store hydrogen in a chemical form, or adsorbents, which collect a film of hydrogen on their surface. For adsorbents to store practical volumes of hydrogen, they must have extremely high surface areas, so investigators will study the use of nanoporous materials (materials with pores on the scale of a billionth of a meter) and carbon materials with high surface areas.
Several projects will also attempt to increase the hydrogen binding energies of adsorbents to enable hydrogen storage at room temperature. The goal is to store enough hydrogen to allow hydrogen-fueled vehicles to travel more than 300 miles on a single fill-up, without compromising passenger or trunk space, performance, or cost. Combined with the $3 million applicant cost share, up to $18 million could be invested in these projects.
technologies in our vehicles is a long-term priority for the U.S.,” said Under Secretary Albright. “With continued investment, hydrogen holds the potential to help fundamentally change the way we power our vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Under Secretary Albright made the announcement at the Washington, D.C. stop of the Hydrogen Road Tour, a 13-day cross-country trip that gives Americans an opportunity to see what the future could hold for hydrogen vehicles. DOE and U.S. Department of Transportation are sponsoring the Hydrogen Road Tour, which travels from Portland, Maine to Santa Monica, Calif. during August 11-23, 2008. Demonstration hydrogen vehicles from nine manufacturers will participate in the tour that includes 31 stops in 18 states across the U.S.
DOE’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cell and Infrastructure Technologies program is helping enable the long-term maturation of hydrogen technologies. The selected projects seek to develop hydrogen storage technologies to enable fuel cell vehicles to meet customer expectations for longer driving range and performance.
The projects include development of novel hydrogen storage materials, development of efficient methods for regeneration of hydrogen storage materials, and approaches to increase hydrogen binding energies to enable room temperature hydrogen storage. These projects will be part of DOE’s National Hydrogen Storage Project, which also includes three Centers of Excellence and other independent projects. DOE’s hydrogen storage activities for vehicles focus primarily on enabling a driving range of greater than 300 miles, within packaging and cost constraints.
DOE will negotiate the terms of 10 cost-shared projects currently planned for a total of approximately $18 million, with up to $15.3 million total government share, subject to annual appropriations, and $3 million applicant cost share. The organizations selected for negotiation of awards are:
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, N.M.) – Up to $2.3 million for novel concept using an electric field to increase the hydrogen binding energy in hydrogen adsorbents.
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) – Up to $2.2 million to design novel multi-component metal hydride-based mixtures for hydrogen storage.
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) – Up to $1.3 million for novel hydrogen adsorbent materials with increased hydrogen binding energy through metal doping.
  • Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) – Up to $1.1 million for development of high capacity, reversible hydrogen storage materials using boron-based metal hydrides.
  • Pennsylvania State University (University Park, Pa.) – Up to $1.5 million for development of novel nanoporous materials for use as hydrogen adsorbents.
  • U.S. Borax Inc. (Greenwood Village, Colo.) – Up to $600,000 for development of a high-efficiency process for the regeneration of spent chemical hydrogen carriers.
  • University of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.) – Up to $1.9 million for development of boron-substituted, high-surface area carbon materials made from corncobs for use as hydrogen adsorbents.
  • University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon) – Up to $640,000 for novel boron and nitrogen substituted cyclic compounds for use as liquid hydrogen carriers.
  • University of California at Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.) – Up to $1.7 million for novel hydrogen adsorbent materials based on light metal impregnation for increasing hydrogen binding energies.
  • Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, Calif.) – Up to $2.0 million for development of materials with tunable thermodynamics through the stabilization of nanosized particles.
  • More information about DOE’s Hydrogen Program and the National Hydrogen Storage Project is available on the Program website.
    Source: DOE