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DOE Announces Hydrogen Storage Funding Opportunity

23 August 2006

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is soliciting applications for R&D funding for viable hydrogen storage technologies for on-board vehicular applications.

This funding opportunity announcement follows a preliminary application phase that took place earlier this year. This announcement is for final applications, due by 14 October 2006. Final application is by invitation only.

DOE is requesting final applications in the following two categories:

  • Category 1: Projects that support and complement activities of the existing Hydrogen Storage Centers of Excellence in Metal Hydrides, Chemical Hydrogen Storage, and Carbon-Based Materials. Such projects must help establish important new technical approaches or capabilities not presently available at the Centers.

  • Category 2: Independent research and development projects that address one of three technical topics: 1) Materials Discovery; 2) Engineering Science; or 3) Systems, Safety and Environmental Analyses.

Separately, a team of researchers in Korea announced that they have identified a new material—titanium attached to a polymer—with a structure that can store hydrogen at normal temperature without pressurization.

Professor Jisoon Ihm and his team determined that Ti-decorated cis-polyacetylene would have reversibly usable gravimetric and volumetric density of 7.6 wt% and 63 kg/m3, respectively, near ambient conditions.

The thesis by Prof. Ihm’s team was published in the 4 August issue of Physical Review Letters.


(A hat-tip to Lou Grinzo!)

August 23, 2006 in Hydrogen, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)


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People are still working on hydrogen?? I thought most people have concluded that this was a dead end.

No, hydrogen is definitely not a dead end. The view is that you can run PR campaigns based on it for at least another 3 years...

Of course, you can't sensibly run vehicles on it but who said hydrogen fuel cells had anything to do with that.

Metal hydrides may be for mass stationary energy storage. However, it will not be as efficient as batteries.

After decades of research and a satisfactory storage system still hasn't been built. Dubya put his foot in his mouth with the fantasy of a hydrogen economy and isn't going to change his story.

there i more than one type of efficiency and hydrogen based energy storage may become efficient enough in some of these catagories to be worthwhile

in terms of energy efficiency i.e. watts out/watts in, hydrogen storage may be less efficient, but that may not matter.

in most renewable systems, your output is unschedulable, so you use the energy or lose it. so, you have waste energy for sale at $0/kWh. in this case, energy efficiency is pretty unimportant.

the costs of capacity, storage, peak output, peak input, and maintenance are much more important.

in all of these areas, hydrogen has the potential to be economically efficient, though maybe not for vehicle applications.

We've been working on electric cars for what, a century? And we still don't have sufficiently good batteries. At least give Dubya the same amount of time.

We should be celebrating *all* avenues of research that receive funding. There's almost certainly not going to be a single solution that solves all our problems, after all.


Saying we have been investing in electric cars for a century (without better batteries) seems a bit unfair. If you look at the data, little had been done up until about 10-15 years ago (with the inventtion of NiMH). Even still, it has only been within the past 5 years that serious research has been conducted in finding a better battery than those (NiMH).

The hydrogen economy sounds great and I hope someday it can be achieved. However, battery technology seems more feasible and practical at this point. Efficiency losses
of producing and storing hydrogen make batteries a "no-brainer" to me. Better yet, if I could generate electricity from solar, I could do so much more effectively by just storing electrons in a battery than using them to split H20.

I often wonder though where we would be if battery research had been done for the last century. I guess Mr. Edison was right.

By the same token cs I recall reading of the promise of hydrogen since the eighties.To label it a Dubya fantasy is to be ignorant of the hydrogen timeline in scientific and political circles.

To be sure the president has backed this horse.So has the venerable Honda corporation.Is Honda on some quixotic adventure?Honda is already rolling out its home energy station units.

I agree with the gentleman who said we must pursue multiple answers to energy issues.Perhaps hydrogen would end up in distributed stationary power production.Home solar and wind systems could could be used to produce hydrogen.Windmills off peak mebbe?

Whether hydrogen gets to much of the funding pie may be a better subject of debate.I think working together for ecological as well as national energy security issues would be more productive than "foot in mouth" polemics.

I am not so concerned about reserach on hydrogen as I am the direction. IMHO hydrogen as a carrier fuel for fixed location distributed electric generation would be the first step, not onboard transportation fuel. Hydrogen could be transported through pipeliles from wind farms or other distant or intermittent primary energy sources.

Meanwhile, we are watcing a developing energy (economic) crisis. I don't buy the idea that oil prices are coming down to $40 ever -- soon or otherwise, and if they rise, which seems a high probability, we are in trouble. Even if oil prices were to drop temporarily, we need to deal with the energy issue for national defnese reasons. So, why are we not putting more money into incentives for known technologies such as HEV's cleaner and more consistent Diesel fuel, etc. These are things that can be done NOW.

i think there is no need for a new storage system for cars, they only need to mass production

hydrogen cars could be build at a low cost (2500$-5000$more) in mass,
for example with hydrogen pressure storage

but until there is a ceaper alternative noone will buy a hydroen car, which costs 2500$ more and needs "costly" hydrogen

biofuels are only at the beginning and
we will see who wins the race:

lightweight cars with high efficient biofuel motors (100mpg+)

or hydrogen hummers

The best hydrogen (H2) storage is in CH4 (CNG-Compressed Natural gas). Compressed to the same pressure of H2, a car can travel 3-1/2 times further. An ICE-electric hybrid can be tuned to run on both compressed H2 and CNG. For daily commute, fill the tank with compressed H2 at 300 bars for ~120 miles range, from H2 produced locally and from renewable sources, include gasification of biomass with CO2 capturing. For long-range trip, fill it up with CNG and you can travel >400 miles between fill up.

Why waste money on any further H2 storage scheme? We need to focus our energy (no pun intended) on efficient H2 generation from renewable energy. High-temp solid oxide electrolysis and direct photo-electrolysis from solar energy appear promising. Likewise, high temp heat from gas power station can be coupled from wind energy to produce efficient H2.

As I pointed out to a friend a ways back in the end its very liekly a car will simply be an electric car with a simple modual to convert the generator section from various feed stocks depending on whatever is cheapest in each area.

In some areas gas will be cheaper for a very long time so a small gas generator will be in that space and a small gas tank. In others petro gas will be cheap and a gas tank and generator or gas using fuel cell will be in the modual.

In still others there will be no cheap pumpable fuel and instead they will use much more excpensive batteries to extend to range far enough to handle the job.

But the end result will be the use of many fuels and thus cars that can handle them.


I agree CNG is a good way to go. Even if you could produce H2 with wind, it might be good to consider making
CH4 out of it using the CO2 from ethanol plants, so that you could transport it using existing NG pipelines.

HEy just to share:
Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out. DME has a potential of feedstock for chemicals. DME to olefins is under development in Japan.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:

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