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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Toyota showing two new fuel cell concepts at Tokyo Motor Show: bus and car

October 18, 2017

Toyota has launched two new fuel cell vehicle concepts: the Sora fuel cell bus and the Fine Comfort Ride fuel cell car. The company will show both at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show later this month.

Toyota plans to launch sales of a commercial model based on the Sora (an acronym for Sky, Ocean, River, Air, representing the earth’s water cycle) concept vehicle in 2018 and expects to introduce more than 100 Sora, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Toyota developed the Sora concept model guided by two ideas: to make best use of the characteristics of the FC unit; and to enhance the comfort of passengers traveling on bus routes.

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Argonne team develops synthetic bionano membrane to convert light to hydrogen

October 16, 2017

A team led by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has developed a new way to produce solar fuels by using completely synthetic bionano machinery to harvest light without the need for a living cell. The researchers’ device, reported in the journal ACS Nano as a “synthetic purple membrane,” contains tiny discs of lipids, man-made proteins and semiconducting nanoparticles that, when taken together, can transform sunlight into hydrogen fuel.

The system produces hydrogen at a turnover of about 240 μmol of H2 (μmol protein)−1 h–1 and 17.74 mmol of H2 (μmol protein)−1 h–1 under monochromatic green and white light, respectively, at ambient conditions, in water at neutral pH and room temperature, with methanol as a sacrificial electron donor.

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DOE fuel cell technologies report finds largest growth in capacity in 2016 occurred in transportation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) released a new report documenting growth and opportunities in the fuel cell industry. Findings of this year’s Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report position stationary power, backup power, and material handling equipment as some of the largest current markets.

However, transportation and energy storage are showing strength as emerging sectors for hydrogen and fuel cells with approximately 62,000 fuel cells and 500 MW in fuel cell power shipped worldwide in 2016— more than double the capacity of shipments in megawatts compared to 2014. The largest growth in capacity—nearly triple—occurred in the transportation sector, and that growth can be attributed to the introduction and expansion of fuel cell light-duty vehicles from Japan and Korea to new regions around the world, including in the United States.

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Toyota fuel-cell Class 8 prototype to start drayage routes at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

October 12, 2017

Unveiled earlier this year (earlier post), Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) “Project Portal” fuel-cell-powered Class 8 truck proof-of-concept has completed more than 4,000 successful development miles, while progressively pulling drayage rated cargo weight, and emitting nothing but water vapor.

With testing and development miles completed, Project Portal will begin initial feasibility study routes, moving goods from select Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals to surrounding rail yards and warehouses for distribution. Toyota estimates the truck’s daily trips will total around 200 miles (322 km).

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Ceramic pump moves molten metal at a record 1,400 ˚C; new avenues for energy storage and hydrogen production

A ceramic-based mechanical pump able to operate at record temperatures of more than 1,400 ˚C (1,673 K) can transfer high-temperature liquids such as molten tin, enabling a new generation of energy conversion and storage systems. The pump was developed by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with collaborators from Purdue University and Stanford University. The research was supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and reported in the journal Nature.

The new pump could facilitate high efficiency, low-cost thermal storage, providing a new way to store renewable energy generated by wind and solar power, and facilitate an improved process for generating hydrogen directly from fuels such as methane without producing carbon dioxide. Use of ceramic components, normally considered too brittle for mechanical systems, was made possible by precision machining and seals made from another high-temperature material: graphite.

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GM provides a few more details on SURUS fuel cell four-wheel steer concept truck

October 07, 2017

Earlier this month, GM outlined its electric path to zero emissions, and introduced SURUS—the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS)—a fuel-cell-powered, four-wheel steer concept vehicle on a heavy-duty truck frame that’s driven by two electric motors. (Earlier post.) Now, GM has provided a few additional insights into the construction of and role for SURUS.

SURUS leverages GM’s newest Hydrotec fuel cell system, autonomous capability and truck chassis components to deliver high-performance, zero-emission propulsion to minimize logistical burdens and reduce human exposure to harm. Benefits include quiet and odor-free operation, off-road mobility, field configuration, instantaneous high torque, exportable power generation, water generation and quick refueling times.

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New hybrid photocatalyst for highly efficient hydrogen production from water

October 06, 2017

Researchers at the University of Central Florida, with colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Tsinghua University, developed a new hybrid nanomaterial—a nonmetal plasmonic MoS2@TiO2 heterostructure—for highly efficient photocatalytic H2 generation from water.

As reported in an open access paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the new catalyst is not only able to harvest a much broader spectrum of light than other materials, but can also stand up to the harsh conditions found in seawater.

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NIST researchers devise method for high-speed, in-line process control of fuel cell membrane catalyst layers

October 05, 2017

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have devised a method for high-speed, in-line process control of platinum-based catalyst layers in the membrane electrode assembly of the fuel cell. Their system may have overcome a significant hurdle to manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells by creating a way to check whether the expensive catalysts the cells need have been incorporated quickly and effectively.

Reported in a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they demonstrated the use of multiple reflectivity-based optical methods, such as optical scatterometry and large aperture projection scatterometry (LAPS)—a new high-throughput approach developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology specifically for fuel cell manufacturing metrology—to take in-line catalyst loading measurements of carbon-supported Pt nanoparticle and Pt-alloy nano-structured thin film catalyst coated membranes.

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DOE and Army TARDEC partner to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

October 04, 2017

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) and the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) will collaborate on jointly funded projects to advance progress in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

This announcement follows a workshop held by DOE in January that led to successful outcomes identifying critical needs for tactical hydrogen infrastructure in remote areas. The workshop was immediately followed by an evaluation of a military fuel cell-powered vehicle (Chevrolet Colorado ZH2) developed by General Motors and sponsored by Army TARDEC. (Earlier post.)

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KAIST team develops ultra-fast and ultra-sensitive hydrogen sensor based on Pd nanowire array coated with MOF

October 02, 2017

A research group under Professor Il-Doo Kim in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST, in collaboration with Professor Reginald M. Penner of the University of California-Irvine, has developed an ultra-fast hydrogen sensor based on a palladium (Pd) nanowire array coated with a metal-organic framework (MOF) that can detect hydrogen gas levels under 1% in less than seven seconds.

The sensor also can detect hundreds of parts per million levels of hydrogen gas within 60 seconds at room temperature.

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DOE team elucidates key hydrogenation mechanism of magnesium diboride; promising solid state H2 storage material

September 28, 2017

An inexpensive and useful layered superconductor compound also may be an efficient solid-state material for storing hydrogen. Through theory and experimentation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists, with colleagues at Sandia and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories, have discovered the key mechanism by which magnesium diboride (MgB2) absorbs hydrogen and provided key insights into the reaction pathway that converts MgB2 to its highest hydrogen capacity form, magnesium borohydride (Mg(BH4)2).

Mg(BH4)2 is a particularly promising hydrogen storage material because of its high hydrogen content and attractive thermodynamics. An open-access paper on the work is published in the RSC journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

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Danish Power Systems sets new record with degradation rate in high-temperature polymer fuel cells

September 25, 2017

The clean technology company Danish Power Systems (DPS), with partners at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic, reports the best operating stability for high-temperature polymer fuel cells (HTPEMFC) yet.

In a 9,000-hour long test at 160 ˚C under constant load, the DPS cell exhibited a degradation rate of 0.5 μV h−1—equivalent to degradation of 0.00008% per hour—compared to 2.6 μV h−1 for a reference membrane. For the full test period of 13,000 h, the average voltage decay rate was about 1.4 and 4.6 μV h−1 for cells equipped with cross-linked and linear polybenzimidazole membranes, respectively. Results are published in the Journal of Power Sources.

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Spanish researchers propose new LOHC-based system for on-demand hydrogen production, storage and transport

A group of researchers in Spain—from the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, the University of Zaragoza and the Institute of Chemical Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de València-CSIC—coordinated by Professor José Antonio Mata of the UJI, have developed and patented a new procedure for the efficient on-demand production, storage and safe transport of hydrogen based on the use of liquid hydrogen organic carriers (LOHC).

The research team has studied different hydrogen-bearing organic liquids to arrive at the new hydrogen storage system based on a chemical coupling reaction between a hydrosilane and an alcohol catalyzed by a ruthenium compound supported in graphene. Their paper is published in Chemistry: a European Journal.

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Navigant forecasts transportation demand for hydrogen to accelerate Power-to-Gas growth

September 20, 2017

Navigant Research forecasts that the transportation segment, with hydrogen demand as a catalyst, will jump-start power-to-gas (P2G) demand and further drive down electrolyzer and other infrastructure costs.

P2G—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—has been held back from mass adoption by high costs, regulatory hurdles, and difficulties with infrastructure. However, Navigant suggests, as the levelized cost of renewable energy falls and as electrolyzer technologies improve and decline in price, P2G business models are taking shape.

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Nikola and Bosch partner on hydrogen-electric Class-8 long-haul truck; dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle

September 19, 2017

Nikola Motor Company is partnering with Bosch on the development of its hydrogen-fuel-cell range-extended electric Class 8 long-haul truck, unveiled as a prototype in December 2016. (Earlier post.)

By 2021, Nikola intends to bring to market the Nikola One and Two, a class 8 hydrogen-electric truck lineup that will deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 lb-ft (2,712 N·m) of torque—nearly double the horsepower of any semi-truck on the road—all with zero tailpipe emissions, as previously announced by Nikola.

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Ontario seeking design concepts for hydrogen-powered regional rail trains

September 18, 2017

The Canadian province of Ontario is electrifying its GO rail network to transform how people move around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), and is seeking design concepts for hydrogen-powered trains as an alternative to conventional overhead wires. A division of Metrolinx, GO Transit is the regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Through the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program, Ontario will deliver faster and more frequent electrified rail service on core segments of the GO rail network and UP Express. As part of planning the electrification, Ontario is undertaking a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cells.

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USDOT awarding $55M to support purchase of Low-No buses; electric buses and infrastructure

September 17, 2017

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $55 million in grant selections through the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle program, which funds the development of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced fuel technologies. Fifty-one projects in 39 states will receive a share of the funding. The vast majority of the funded projects are for battery-electric buses and infrastructure; two projects are receiving a total of $3.2 million for hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Eligible projects included those that replace, rehabilitate, lease, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance. Projects can also include workforce development components to train the next generation of transit employees.

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NovCoat consortium develops novel low-cost conductive coatings for PEM fuel cells

September 15, 2017

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a UK-based technology innovation center, Intelligent Energy and coatings supplier Haydale have been collaborating to develop novel, conductive coatings for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates with the goal of further cost reductions.

Intelligent Energy is leading this project in collaboration with CPI and the advanced coatings supplier Haydale to develop new conductive coatings containing nanocarbons to replace the more traditional physical vapor deposition (PVD) methods.

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Faurecia partners with CEA on fuel cell development

September 14, 2017

Faurecia, one of the world's largest automotive equipment suppliers, signed a five year agreement with the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) to collaborate in a research and development program of fuel cell stack technologies.

Faurecia will benefit from more than two decades of CEA research and expertise in fuel cell stacks and key components such as bipolar plates. Combined with Faurecia expertise in fluid dynamics and catalysis, the Group will be able to develop, mass-produce and commercialize a high performance fuel cell stack that will meet auto industry expectations.

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Ballard signs LOI to power first fuel-cell tram-buses with Van Hool in Pau, France

Ballard Power Systems has accepted a Letter of Intent to provide FCveloCity-HD 100 kW fuel cell systems to power eight ExquiCity tram-buses being built by Van Hool NV, a Ballard partner in Europe, for delivery in Pau, France to the SMTU-PPP (Syndicat Mixte de Transports urbains – Pau Portes des Pyrénées) and the STAP (Société de Transport de l’Agglomération Paloise) during the second half of 2019. (Earlier post.)

These will be the first hydrogen bus routes in France and the world’s first hydrogen tram-Van Hool ExquiCity tram-busbuses for a full BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system. These clean energy hybrid tram-buses will use fuel cells for primary power and lithium batteries for additional power when needed. Each tram-bus is more than 18 meters long (more than 60 feet), has capacity for 125 passengers and can operate more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) between hydrogen refueling, which take just 10 minutes to complete.

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Ballard, Nisshinbo collaborate to offer first PEM fuel cell using non-precious-metal catalyst

September 13, 2017

Ballard Power Systems has collaborated with Nisshinbo Holdings to develop a Non-Precious-Metal Catalyst (NPMC) for use in the world’s first commercialized NPMC-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell product. Nisshinbo and Ballard have jointly collaborated on the development of NPMC since 2013. (Earlier post.)

Ballard has successfully incorporated the Non Precious Metal Catalyst into a high performing catalyst layer under a Technology Solutions program and plans to launch a new 30-watt FCgen-1040 fuel cell stack product incorporating NPMC for commercial use in late-2017.

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Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction; fuel-cell/battery plug-in hybrid powertrain

September 12, 2017

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL (earlier post). Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) from the Mercedes-Benz family combines fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid.

With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a total range of up to 437 km (271.5 miles) in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a battery-powered range of up to 49 km (30.5 miles) from the 9.3 kWh (net) lithium-ion battery (13.8 kWh gross). An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL, Daimler said it is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

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New TOTAL hydrogen filling station in Karlsruhe produces H2 onsite with steam electrolysis and solar energy

September 07, 2017

A new TOTAL hydrogen filling station on Karlsruhe’s Südtangente ring-road was commissioned on Wednesday. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure approved grants of approx. €970,000 (US$1.2 million) for the hydrogen facility under its National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

This H2 filling station—the eleventh in the TOTAL network and the tenth in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg—is differentiated by producing hydrogen on-site through steam electrolysis, using electricity generated by a solar array.

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Mercedes-Benz to showcase pre-production version of coming GLC F-Cell fuel cell PHEV at IAA

September 05, 2017

At the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, Mercedes-Benz will display publicly for the first time the pre-production version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL fuel cell plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)

The GLC F-CELL features a ~9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack combined with a new fuel cell stack. Around 30% more compact than previous stacks, it can be fully housed in the engine compartment for the first time. Too, the cost of the technology has been slashed due largely to a 90% reduction in the amount of platinum used in the stack. The combination of fuel cell and battery system—along with a further developed intelligent operating strategy—will offer a combined range of around 500 km (311 miles) in the NEDC.

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London police trialing Suzuki Burgman fuel cell scooters; first trial outside of Japan

The London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has begun a trial to test Suzuki Burgman hydrogen-powered scooters. The Burgman was the world’s first fuel cell scooter to achieve the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval. (Earlier post.)

The hydrogen fuel cell scooters will be used by Police Community Support Officers within the Roads and Transport Policing Command and will be based at Alperton Deployment Centre. The trial will last for 18 months and will enable assessment of the suitability of the fuel cell scooters for various roles. On a broader scale the trial will help The Metropolitan Police to understand where this clean technology could be adopted across its fleet in the future.

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DSM developing high-pressure composite tanks for hydrogen storage

Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials, has introduced a material solution for high-pressure composite tanks for hydrogen storage. Hydrogen has the highest energy per mass of any fuel. One kg of hydrogen is equivalent to 33.3 kWh—three times more energy than conventional fuel. However, hydrogen’s low ambient temperature density results in a low energy per unit volume. This requires the development of advanced storage methods that have the potential for higher energy density.

DSM is working to apply its materials expertise to make safe, effective and very lightweight hydrogen tanks. The two-part tank design features a proven, blow-molded liner made of Akulon Fuel Lock, a polyamide-6-based engineering plastic with a very high barrier to hydrocarbons.

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Van Hool consortium to deploy first hydrogen bus route in France; green hydrogen for bus rapid transit

September 01, 2017

A consortium comprising bus-maker Van Hool, ITM Power, SMTU-PPP and Engie will deploy the first hydrogen bus route in France, in Pau. François Bayrou, President of the community of Pau Béarn Pyrénées, made the announcement about the creation of this “zero emission” bus rapid transit (BRT) route, which will be operated by the Pau transport operator companies SMTU-PPP and STAP starting in September 2019 between the hospital and the railway station in Pau.

Fueled by hydrogen from renewable sources (“green hydrogen”), eight 18-meter articulated buses from the Bus Rapid Transit service line (BHNS) will be operating on the streets of Pau within two years. The buses will form an artery of the new transportation network designed by the City within its urban redevelopment project aimed at improving the perception and use of public spaces in a sustainable way.

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Shell, ITM Power to install 10MW electrolyzer for refinery hydrogen

Shell, together with ITM Power, plans to install a 10MW electrolyzer to produce hydrogen at the Wesseling refinery site within the Rheinland Refinery Complex. This would be the largest unit of its kind in Germany and the world’s largest PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) electrolyzer.

Today, the refinery uses approximately 180,000 tons of hydrogen per year in its various plants. The hydrogen is currently produced as a byproduct of the refining process or through natural gas reforming; electrolysis instead uses electricity to split water into the base components of hydrogen and oxygen. Electrolysis using low-cost renewable electricity could be a key technology for CO2-free hydrogen production in the Shell Rheinland Refinery.

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EU NELLI project delivers new generation solid-oxide fuel cell; efficient and lower cost

August 30, 2017

The EU-funded three-year NELLHI project has concluded after successfully developing a new stack design of solid oxide fuel cells, from an all-European supply chain. NELLHI combined European know-how in single cells, coatings, sealing, and stack design to produce a novel high-performance 1 kW SOFC stack along with with the proof of concept of a 10 kWe SOFC stack.

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) produce the highest efficiencies of any electrical generation, above combustion engines, gas turbines or other fuel cells. Key potential applications for SOFC systems include residential combined heat and power systems (CHP), automotive vehicles, and electrolysis. In an SOFC electrolysis system, fuel cells convert excess power from renewable generation to turn water into hydrogen, addressing intermittency and storage issues for wind and solar.

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WPI team develops sandwiched liquid metal membrane for H2 purification as alternative to Pd; lowering costs for fuel cell vehicles

August 29, 2017

Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have developed a novel sandwiched liquid metal membrane (SLiMM) for hydrogen separation. Separation membranes hold the key to making hydrogen fuel cheaper; the researchers have shown that membranes made with liquid metals appear to be more efficient at separating hydrogen than conventional palladium membranes while also being less expensive and more durable.

The WPI team reported that their Ga/SiC SLiMM has a permeability of 2.75 x 10-7 mol/ms·Pa0.5 at 500°C—35 times higher than that for Pd under similar conditions. This promises a potential for application of SliMM in hydrogen purification, they concluded in their paper, published in the AIChE Journal.

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Metallic nanostructures with strong light confinement can triple the efficiency of solar-based hydrogen generation

Researchers led by a team from KAUST have found a more sustainable route to hydrogen fuel production using chaotic, light-trapping materials that mimic natural photosynthetic water splitting. In a paper in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers report a new photocatalyst for hydrogen evolution based on metal epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) metamaterials.

The authors designed these to achieve broadband strong light confinement at the metal interface across the entire solar spectrum. Using electron energy loss spectroscopy, the authors show that hot carriers are generated in a broadband fashion within 10 nm in this system. The resulting photocatalyst achieves a hydrogen production rate of 9.5 µmol h−1 cm−2 that exceeds, by a factor of 3.2, that of the best previously reported plasmonic-based photocatalysts for the dissociation of H2 with 50 h stable operation.

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ULEMCo to offer a fuel cell range extender module for Nissan e-NV200 electric van

August 24, 2017

UK-based ULEMCo has developed a fuel-cell-based unit that will extend vehicle range by supplying additional power to the standard Nissan e-NV200 van. With the combination of the on-board hydrogen storage and fuel cell module, the van will have a range of more than 150 miles (241 km) when laden, satisfying the range requirements of most average daily delivery operations for this size of van.

ULEMCo specifically engineered the module to provide additional energy to the vehicle so that the operational practicality of the full electric vehicle can be widened to cope with seasonal range variation, working lifetime, and the impact on range when fully loaded—all things that currently limit the range of duties an operator can target for existing for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

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DOE issues $6M request for proposals for H2@Scale projects

August 21, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for proposals (H2_AT_SCALE_CRADA_CALL) for research projects that address the Hydrogen at Scale (H2@Scale) concept (earlier post), which enables wide-scale production and use of hydrogen to address issues such as grid resiliency, energy storage and security, domestic job creation, and domestic leadership in innovation.

In 2016, DOE national laboratories identified the potential of hydrogen to decarbonize deeply a multitude of sectors in a proposal termed “H2@Scale”. Preliminary analysis performed by the national laboratories on the H2@Scale concept indicated that nearly a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is possible by 2050 via such large-scale hydrogen production and use.

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ARB report: 1,600 fuel cell vehicles in California, 29 stations active; need to accelerate station deployment

August 18, 2017

As of 5 April 2017, California has more than 1,600 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with active registrations with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), according to the 2017 issue of its Annual Evaluation of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Deployment and Hydrogen Fuel Station Network Development released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). This represents a net addition of 1,300 FCEVs (1,600 currently registered vs. 331 at the same time last year.

The report also identified 29 currently Open-Retail hydrogen fueling stations from as far south as San Diego, to the coastline in Santa Barbara, and as far to the northeast as Truckee. This represents an increase of 9 fueling stations since June 2016.

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Hyundai previews near-production-ready next-gen fuel cell SUV; new eco-vehicle development roadmap

August 17, 2017

At a special preview event held in Seoul, Hyundai Motor provided an early glimpse of its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which is due to launch early next year. The new fuel cell SUV will spearhead Hyundai Motor’s plans to accelerate development of low emission vehicles, in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s renewed goal of introducing 31 eco-friendly models (Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors combined) to global markets by 2020.

The yet-to-be-named model shown previews Hyundai Motor’s second commercially produced hydrogen model and uses the company’s fourth-generation of hydrogen fuel cell technology. The vehicle, its capabilities and fuel cell technologies are an evolution of Hyundai Motor’s global research, development and real-world evaluation programs. The company launched its first commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2013.

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Seven-Eleven Japan and Toyota introducing fuel cell trucks and fuel cell power generators for studies on CO2 reduction

August 09, 2017

Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation have concluded a basic agreement for studies on energy conservation and CO2 emissions reduction in convenience store distribution and operation. The two companies aim to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon and hydrogen-based society in the future, by way of introducing vehicles and power generators to be newly developed by Toyota that use hydrogen.

Fuel cell trucks, in which the refrigeration/freezer unit, and the truck itself, are powered by fuel cells, will be introduced as refrigerator/freezer trucks for stores with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions.

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Hexagon Composites completes development and initial delivery of H2 storage tanks for Toyota heavy-duty fuel cell truck

Norway-based Hexagon Composites’ subsidiary Hexagon Lincoln has completed the development and initial deliveries of storage tanks for a Toyota heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell truck. (Earlier post.) Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) has received the first hydrogen tanks to be used in the project.

With this delivery of the Type 4 high-pressure hydrogen cylinders, the Hexagon Composites Group is strengthening its position in the hydrogen heavy-duty vehicle market. The Group has established a strong position in the hydrogen value chain and is working globally on several projects with passenger car OEMs, transit bus, ground storage, gas transportation, back-up power, marine and rail applications.

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Power-to-gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia’s gas grid; A$5M award to AquaHydrex

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced a trial for a new type of electrolyzer which could see excess renewable energy stored in the gas grid and used to decarbonize Australia’s gas supply.

On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA has provided A$5 million (US$4 million) in funding to Wollongong-based AquaHydrex to develop commercially its new class of electrolyzer to produce cheap hydrogen from splitting water. In partnership with Australian Gas Networks (AGN), which owns the gas distribution network in South Australia, AquaHydrex will design and build an electrolyzer pilot plant to trial injecting a small amount of hydrogen into the South Australian gas grid in a process known as “power-to-gas”.

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ORNL, LANL study provides insights into performance of non-precious metal fuel-cell catalysts; atomic-level observations

August 04, 2017

In order to reduce the cost of next-generation polymer electrolyte fuel cells for vehicles, researchers have been developing alternatives to the prohibitively expensive platinum and platinum-group metal (PGM) catalysts currently used in fuel cell electrodes. New work at Los Alamos (LANL) and Oak Ridge national laboratories (ORNL) is now resolving difficult fuel-cell performance questions, both in determining efficient new materials and understanding how they work at an atomic level. The research is described this week in the journal Science.

Building on previous studies, the Los Alamos-led team has synthesized catalysts comprising low-cost platinum alternatives—iron-nitrogen-carbon catalysts synthesized with two nitrogen precursors that developed hierarchical porosity—that yield performance comparable to the standard PGM fuel cell catalyst used in vehicle applications. Current densities recorded in the kinetic region of cathode operation, at fuel cell voltages greater than ~0.75 V, were the same as those obtained with a Pt cathode at a loading of 0.1 milligram of Pt per centimeter squared.

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Loop Energy fuel cell range-extended yard truck in operation

Canada-based Loop Energy’s fuel cell range extender system (earlier post) is fully functional and operating in a heavy-duty terminal tractor (or yard truck) with partner China National Heavy-Duty Truck Company (CNHTC).

Offering extended range, rapid refueling and zero tailpipe emissions, the heavy-duty vehicle addresses the limitations of pure battery-electric trucks for short and regional-haul freight markets while providing an economically-viable replacement for polluting diesel engines.

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Rice University lab develops dual-surface graphene electrode to split water into hydrogen and oxygen

Researchers in the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour have produced dual-surface laser-induced graphene (LIG) electrodes on opposing faces of a plastic sheet that split water into hydrogen on one side and oxygen on the other side. The high porosity and electrical conductivity of LIG facilitates the efficient contact and charge transfer with the requisite electrolyte. A paper on the work is published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

The LIG-based electrodes exhibit high performance for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) with excellent long-term stability. The overpotential reaches 100 mA/cm2 for HER and OER is as low as 214 and 380 mV with relatively low Tafel slopes of 54 and 49 mV/dec, respectively. (One decade (symbol dec) is a factor of 10 difference between two numbers measured on a log scale.)

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Army Research Lab discovers aluminum nanomaterial rapidly splits water on contact

August 03, 2017

Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) have discovered that a nano-galvanic aluminum-based powder of their design splits water on contact, producing hydrogen and oxygen. Scientists have known for a long time that hydrogen can be produced by adding a catalyst—such as sodium or potassium hydroxide or an acid—to aluminum. However, these methods take time, elevated temperature, and added electricity.

The ARL powder does not need a catalyst; it is also very fast. “We have calculated that one kilogram of aluminum powder can produce 220 kW of energy in just three minutes. That’s a lot of power to run any electrical equipment. These rates are the fastest known without using catalysts such as an acid, base or elevated temperatures,” said Dr. Anit Giri, a physicist with the lab’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate.

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Rice, Lawrence Livermore scientists develop new efficient non-Pt MX2 catalyst for efficient hydrogen production; Materials Genome Initiative in action

August 01, 2017

Scientists at Rice University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have predicted and created new two-dimensional electrocatalysts—low-cost, layered transition-metal dichalcogenides (MX2) based on molybdenum and tungsten—to extract hydrogen from water with high performance and low cost. In the process, they also created a simple model to screen materials for catalytic activity.

In a paper in Nature Energy, the report that the materials, beyond demonstrating high catalytic activity, exhibit an unusual ability to optimize their morphology for enhanced charge transfer and accessibility of active sites as the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) proceeds, thereby offering a practical advantage for scalable processing. The catalysts reach 10 mA cm−2 current density at an overpotential of ∼50–60mV with a loading of 10–55 μg cm−2,surpassing other reported MX2 candidates without any performance-enhancing additives.

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Two new H2 stations bring total in Germany to 32

July 31, 2017

Germany’s H2 filling station network is growing at an increasing pace. After the opening of stations in Wiesbaden and Frankfurt in June, Daimler, Shell and Linde have now commissioned two more hydrogen stations in Sindelfingen and Pforzheim. This brings the number of fueling options for fuel-cell cars in Baden-Württemberg to nine, making the federal state Germany’s leading H2 region. The openings are another step in the partners’ efforts towards establishing a nationwide H2 supply network.

Germany currently has a total of 32 hydrogen refueling stations in operation, sponsored by the German government via its National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). Altogether, the German government contributed €1.8 million (US$2.1 million) to the construction of the two new stations. By 2018, the plan is to have 100 filling stations. As many as 400 service stations are planned by 2023 as part of the H2 Mobility Joint Venture.

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Toyota Mobility Foundation launches research program to support innovative hydrogen energy solutions

The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has launched a research program to spur the development of a “hydrogen society”—envisioned as a set of communities with integrated, green-energy networks powered by mini-hydrogen plants that aim to create a carbon-free, hydrogen distribution system. TMF has begun soliciting research proposals under this new program.

TMF will emphasize innovations in the generation; storage and transport; and applications of hydrogen when screening the submitted proposals. A panel of hydrogen and energy experts from universities and public-sector research organizations will review the proposals and oversee their selection.

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Japan launches first global hydrogen supply chain demo project; liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology

July 28, 2017

Four Japanese companies—Chiyoda, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha—have launched the “Advanced Hydrogen Energy Chain Association for Technology Development”(AHEAD) along with the world’s first Global Hydrogen Supply Chain Demonstration Project.

The project, a subsidized “Technology Development Project to establish Hydrogen Society/Technology Development for the Utilization of Large Scale Hydrogen Energy”, is funded by the National Research and Development Agency, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), and demonstrates the use of liquid organic chemical hydrides in the hydrogen supply chain.

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German team clarifies key catalytic step in enzymatic production of hydrogen

July 25, 2017

Enzymes, called [FeFe]-hydrogenases, efficiently turn electrons and protons into hydrogen; they are thus a candidate for the biotechnological production of the potential energy source. For years, researchers had assumed that a highly unstable intermediate state had to exist in the reaction. No one was able to verify this. Until now.

Now, researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the Freie Universität Berlin have clarified the crucial catalytic step in the production of hydrogen by enzymes. Led by Prof. Thomas Happe and Dr. Martin Winkler from the Bochum-based Photobiotechnology Working Group, with Berlin-based colleagues led by Dr. Sven Stripp, the team reports on the results in an open-access paper in the journal Nature Communications.

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Project shows maritime fuel cell generator can increase energy efficiency by up to 30% at part load; reliability and cost issues

July 22, 2017

A recent project demonstrated a 100 kW fuel cell generator with 72 kg of hydrogen storage for marine applications. Project goals were to demonstrate the use of the generator in the maritime environment, identify areas requiring additional research and development, analyze the business case, and address regulatory and other market barriers.

A report authored by Sandia National Laboratories on the project found that the project showed that it is possible to increase energy efficiency by up to 30% at part load and reduce emissions to zero through the use of hydrogen fuel cells. (Although Sandia wrote the report, the project was performed by fourteen partner organizations.) The project also identified paths forward to wider adoption of the technology in this sector.

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AC Transit’s fuel cell bus breaks 25,000 hour operating record; demonstrating potential to meet diesel life cycle expectancy

July 14, 2017

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) recently recorded a second history making event—25,000 hours of continuous operation of a Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB #7). Just two years ago, the FCEB power plant set an international record for 20,000 hours of continuous operation. AC Transit says that with each accomplishment, it has advanced alternative fuel vehicles by both proving the durability of hydrogen fuel cell in daily revenue service and remaining at least one year ahead of federal recommendations.

The US Department of Energy and Federal Transit Administration established performance metrics and life expectancy for FCEBs. Traditionally, a public transit buses life expectancy is measured in terms of the number of miles on its diesel engine. A diesel engine’s life expectancy is 6 years or 250,000 miles before overhaul. The life expectancy of the fuel cell power plant is measured in terms of hours. Once AC Transit’s FCEB #7 recorded its 25,000-hour milestone, it demonstrated the potential for fuel cells to meet the equivalent life cycle expectancy similar to a diesel engine.

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Sandia researchers take study of hydrogen-powered passenger ferries to next level; optimizing design

In the San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions study, known as SF-BREEZE, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories concluded liquid hydrogen fuel cells are feasible on technical, regulatory and economic bases. (Earlier post.)

Now, Sandia researchers are taking the work to the next level in a second study that focuses on the optimal combination of vessel design, speed and passenger capacity, which, once determined, could reduce uncertainty in the industry; and the technical evidence to support new safety codes for hydrogen fuel-cell vessels. The work is funded by the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance program.

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Toyota and partners begin full-scale operation of showcase project to supply low-carbon H2 to fuel cell forklifts

July 13, 2017

A Japanese partnership, consisting of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, Iwatani Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Industries Corporation, Toyota Turbine and Systems, Inc., and Japan Environment Systems Co., Ltd. announced that all facilities to be used in the FY2015 Regional Cooperation and Low-carbon Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Project commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment have been completed, and full-scale operations have commenced.

The goal of the project is to implement and evaluate a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will utilize hydrogen produced from renewable energy in facilities along Tokyo Bay (in Yokohama and Kawasaki) to power 12 fuel cell forklifts. The project aims to construct a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain that can reduce overall CO2 emissions by at least 80% when compared with conventional approaches.

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New catalyst supports ultra-low-temperature water-gas-shift reaction for hydrogen production

July 06, 2017

Researchers from China and the US have synthesized gold layered clusters on an α-MoC substrate to create an interfacial catalyst system for the ultra-low-temperature water-gas shift (WGS) reaction for the production of high-purity hydrogen and concomitant utilization of carbon monoxide (CO). The discovery, described in a paper in the journal Science, could improve the performance of fuel cells that run on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO.

In the work described in the paper, water was activated over α-MoC at 303 K (30 ˚C), while the CO adsorbed on adjacent Au sites reacted with surface hydroxyl groups formed from water splitting, leading to a high WGS activity at low-temperatures.

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Durable ruthenium and graphene fuel cell catalyst matches performance of platinum alloys

June 30, 2017

Scientists at Rice University and their colleagues in China have fabricated a durable catalyst for high-performance fuel cells by attaching single ruthenium atoms to nitrogen-doped graphene. Catalysts that drive the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells are usually made of platinum. Platinum is expensive, however, and scientists have searched for decades for a suitable replacement.

The ruthenium-graphene combination may fit the bill, said chemist James Tour, whose lab developed the material with his colleagues at Rice and in China. The Ru/nitrogen- doped GO catalyst exhibits excellent four-electron ORR activity, offering onset and half-wave potentials of 0.89 and 0.75 V, respectively, vs a reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) in 0.1 M HClO4, together with better durability and tolerance toward methanol and carbon monoxide poisoning than seen in commercial Pt/C catalysts. A paper on the work appears in the journal ACS Nano.

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Germany launches €60M, 3-year consortium project on high-volume production of automotive fuel cells; BMW, Daimler, Ford, VW

June 29, 2017

Germany has launched a ~€60-million, three-year consortium of leading industrial companies to investigate high-volume production of automotive fuel cell stacks. The “AutoStack-Industrie” project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), with €21.3 million in the first year.

The “AutoStack Industry” project is a joint initiative of the German automotive and supply industries and aims to provide the technical, economic and technological basis for the commercial introduction of fuel cell vehicles in Germany and Europe by 2020. The consortium, which is lead by BMW, comprises leading German companies in the fields of automotive and fuel cell technology: BMW AG; Daimler AG; Reinz-Dichtungs GmbH (DANA); Ford Research and Innovation Center Aachen; Freudenberg Performance Materials SE & Co. KG; Greenerity GmbH; NuCellSys GmbH; Powercell Sweden AB; Umicore AG & Co. KG; Volkswagen AG; and Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg.

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Osaka team develops new solar-to-hydrogen catalyst that uses broader spectrum of light

June 26, 2017

A team at Osaka University in Japan has developed a new material based on gold and black phosphorus to harvest a broader spectrum of sunlight for water-splitting to produce hydrogen.

The three-part composite maximizes both absorbing light and its efficiency for water splitting. The core is a traditional semiconductor—lanthanum titanium oxide (LTO). The LTO surface is partly coated with gold nanoparticles. Finally, the gold-covered LTO is mixed with ultrathin sheets of the element black phosphorus (BP), which acts as a light absorber. The optimum H2 production rates of BP-Au/LTO were about 0.74 and 0.30 mmol g-1 h-1 at wavelengths longer than 420 nm and 780 nm, respectively. A paper on the team’s work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie: International Edition.

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Kyushu team develops multifunctional catalyst for poison-resistant hydrogen fuel cells; both H2 and CO as fuel

June 25, 2017

Researchers at Kyushu University, Japan, have developed the first catalyst that can oxidize both hydrogen and carbon monoxide, depending on the pH of the reaction system. Carbon monoxide is a common pollutant in commercially available hydrogen gas but it poisons the platinum catalysts used in today’s fuel cells. A paper on the work appears in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The new catalyst, based on a nickel-iridium [NiIr] complex, mimics the behavior of two enzymes: hydrogenase in acidic media (pH 4-7) and carbon monoxide dehydrogenase in basic media (pH 7-10). The team, led by Prof. Seiji Ogo, constructed a proof-of-concept fuel cell that turned the tables on carbon monoxide poisoning by using it as a fuel and generated energy from a 1:1 mixture of the two gases.

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New efficient, low-temperature catalyst for converting water and CO to hydrogen and CO2

June 24, 2017

Scientists in the US and China have developed a new low-temperature catalyst for producing high-purity hydrogen gas while simultaneously using up carbon monoxide (CO) via the water-gas shift (WGS) reaction. The discovery—described in a paper in the journal Science—could improve the performance of fuel cells that run on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO.

The WGS reaction (CO+H2O = H2+CO2) is an essential process for hydrogen generation and CO removal in various energy-related chemical operations. The reaction is favored at a low working temperature. Application in fuel cells requires a WGS catalyst to be highly active, stable and energy-efficient and match the working temperature of on-site hydrogen generation and consumption units.

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Report: Hyundai to boost production of new fuel cell vehicle 15x to 3,600 units

June 20, 2017

Citing “industry sources,” Business Korea reports that Hyundai has decided to boost production of a new fuel cell vehicle (earlier post)—to be released early next year—by 15 times to 3,600 units.

Hyundai sold 242 fuel cell vehicles last year; Toyota, the market leader with its Mirai, is targeting 3,000 fuel cell vehciles sold this year. Hyundai’s decision, according to the report, is part of an effort to check Toyota and to promote fuel cell vehicles.

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GAC Motor targeting 1M unit sales by 2020, 20% new energy vehicles; entering US market by 2019; transition to electric “may be quite long”

June 19, 2017

GAC Motor was one of the few automakers, and the only Chinese auto brand, to take the main stage at last week’s Michelin Movin’On 2017 global sustainable mobility summit in Montreal. During his talk, Yu Jun, president of GAC Motor, said that his rapidly growing company is targeting sales of 1 million units annually by 2020, with 20% of those being new energy vehicles.

Yu said that GAC plans to introduce seven new energy vehicle models—including both electric and hybrid plug-in designs—to the market this year. GAC has already established its first North America R&D Center in Silicon Valley, and plans to to enter the US market no later than 2019.

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European EAGLE project to develop gasoline engine with 50% peak efficiency; Renault to manufacture prototype

June 15, 2017

European researchers have launched a new project to obtain a gasoline engine at least 20% more efficient than current engines and adapted for future electrified powertrains. The EAGLE (Efficient Additivated Gasoline Lean Engine) European research project is led by the French research organization IFP Energies nouvelles, with the participation of eight partners from Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

The EAGLE project will combine and evaluate different advanced technologies to achieve its aim of developing an innovative engine able to deliver peak brake thermal efficiency of 50% while reducing particulate and NOx emissions and while using a conventional engine architecture. It will also reach real driving Euro 6 values with no conformity factor.

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H2 Mobility partners open two new H2 stations in the Rhine-Main Area; linking north to south through Germany

June 14, 2017

The joint venture H2 Mobility Deutschland and its partners Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde and Shell officially opened two new hydrogen refueling stations in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The German federal state of Hesse now has a total of five H2 filling stations for fuel cell vehicles. With these new stations, the partners have moved yet another step closer to a nationwide H2 supply network. The new sites are both conveniently located directly on the A661 and A66 motorways at key points of intersection for people driving from north to south through Germany.

H2 Mobility commissioned the new hydrogen station in Frankfurt’s Hanauer Landstrasse 334 while Daimler AG is the owner of the filling station in Wiesbaden’s Borsigstrasse 1. Both stations are located on Shell premises.

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UK National Physical Laboratory identifies measurement challenges in the hydrogen industry

June 13, 2017

The UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has published a report which highlights and prioritizes the current measurement challenges facing the hydrogen industry. The report emphasizes the importance of addressing these challenges should hydrogen play a significant role in a transition to a decarbonized energy system.

NPL is the UK’s National Measurement Institute, and is a world-leading center of excellence in developing and applying the most accurate measurement standards, science and technology available. NPL has developed and maintained the UK’s primary measurement standards for more than a century.

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Molybdenum coating improves the efficiency of water-splitting catalysts for producing hydrogen

June 12, 2017

Researchers at KAUST have developed a novel molybdenum-coated catalyst that can efficiently split water in acidic electrolytes and that could help with the efficient production of hydrogen.

Scientists are searching for ways of improving the water-splitting reaction by developing an optimal catalyst. While many different materials have been tried, they are usually adversely affected by the oxygen that is also created alongside the hydrogen during the process. The two gaseous products can easily recombine back to water due to reverse water-forming reactions, hindering the production of hydrogen.

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Soletair demo plant produces renewable hydrocarbon fuel from CO2 captured from the air

June 09, 2017

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) are beginning testing of the Soletair demo plant, which uses air-captured carbon dioxide to produce renewable fuels and chemicals. The pilot plant is coupled to LUT’s solar power plant in Lappeenranta.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical performance of the overall process and produce 200 liters of fuels and other hydrocarbons for research purposes. The demo plant incorporates the entire process chain, and comprises four separate units: a solar power plant; equipment for separating carbon dioxide and water from the air; a section that uses electrolysis to produce hydrogen; and synthesis equipment for producing a crude-oil substitute from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

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DOE to award $15.8M to 30 hydrogen and fuel cell technologies projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $15.8 million for 30 new projects aimed at discovery and development of novel, low-cost materials necessary for hydrogen production and storage and for fuel cells onboard light-duty vehicles. Selected projects will leverage national lab consortia launched under DOE’s Energy Materials Network (EMN) this past year (earlier post), in support of DOE’s materials research and advanced manufacturing priorities.

Selections were made under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) 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. More than 2,000 fuel cell vehicles have been sold or leased in the US since 2015.

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Hydrogenics to provide 1,000 fuel cell bus power modules to Blue-G in China; $50M deal

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, has signed a Purchase and License Agreement for technology and fuel cells with Blue-G New Energy Science and Technology Corporation (Blue-G) in China.

Under the agreement, Hydrogenics will deliver 1,000 fuel cell units to Blue-G to be integrated into zero-emission electric buses and an engineering support component for an aggregate sum payable to the Company of more than US$50 million. Delivery of the fuel cells and the associated payments are expected to occur over the next two to three years. Hydrogenics also expects to generate incremental license royalties over a 10-year period.

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Ricardo collaborates with California Fuel Cell Partnership on hydrogen trucks; TCO assessment

June 07, 2017

Ricardo Strategic Consulting is collaborating with the California Fuel Cell Partnership to provide economic modeling tools that will enable the assessment of total cost of ownership (TCO) of future fuel cell trucks, and hydrogen stations necessary to support commercial operation.

Ricardo Strategic Consulting’s proprietary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) modeling capability, provides insights on the economics of fuel efficient technologies, both today and in future. This model enables vehicle manufacturers, regulators, transport authorities, urban planners, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions about new technology implementation.

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Ballard awarded $18M follow-on fuel cell deal with Broad-Ocean to support deployment of 400 buses and trucks in China

June 06, 2017

Fuel cell system manufacturer Ballard Power Systems has entered into an $18-million supply contract with Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. (Broad-Ocean) to support the deployment of 400 FCveloCity fuel cell systems integrated into clean energy buses and trucks in key Chinese cities.

The transaction is part of an ongoing program with Broad-Ocean (earlier post) to implement Ballard’s fuel cell technology in support of China’s ambitious plan to address environmental concerns and advance the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The complementary addition of fuel cell systems effectively addresses the limitations of stand-alone battery solutions in certain use cases, resulting in growing demand for zero-emission and efficient propulsion systems that provide bus, truck and commercial vehicles with the traditional range and refueling times provided by legacy diesel solutions.

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BNL, VT team creates Ru,Rh supramolecular photocatalysts for enhanced hydrogen production via artificial photosynthesis

June 04, 2017

Scientists have been trying to artificially replicate photosynthesis to convert solar energy to stored chemical energy, with the objective of producing environmentally friendly and sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen and methanol. However, mimicking key functions of the photosynthetic center, where specialized biomolecules carry out photosynthesis, has proven challenging. Artificial photosynthesis requires a molecular system that can absorb light; transport and separate electrical charge; and catalyze fuel-producing reactions. These complicated processes must operate synchronously to achieve high energy-conversion efficiency.

Now, chemists from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Virginia Tech have designed two supramolecular photocatalysts that incorporate individual components specialized for light absorption, charge separation, or catalysis. In both molecular systems, multiple light-harvesting centers made of ruthenium (Ru) metal ions are connected to a single catalytic center made of rhodium (Rh) metal ions through a bridging molecule that promotes electron transfer from the Ru centers to the Rh catalyst, where hydrogen is produced. A paper on the work is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Penn State, FSU team develops low-cost, efficient layered heterostructure catalyst for water-splitting

June 02, 2017

A team of scientists from Penn State and Florida State University have developed a lower cost and industrially scalable catalyst consisting of synthesized stacked graphene and WxMo1–xS2 alloy phases that produces pure hydrogen through a low-energy water-splitting process.

The results of their study, published in the journal ACS Nano, indicate that heterostructures formed by graphene and W0.4Mo0.6S2 alloys are far more efficient than WS2 and MoS2 by at least a factor of 2, and they are superior compared to other reported transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD) systems. The researchers suggested that their strategy offers a cheap and low temperature synthesis alternative able to replace Pt in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

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Linde and Praxair to merge; global industrial gas major valued at > $70B

Linde AG and Praxair, Inc. have entered into a definitive business combination agreement (BCA) to come together under a new holding company through an all-stock merger-of-equals transaction. Linde and Praxair expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2018, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

The proposed merger brings together two leading companies in the global industrial gas industry, leveraging the proven strengths of each. Based on 2016 reported results, the combination will create a company with pro forma revenues of approximately US$29 billion (€27 billion), prior to adjustments, potential divestitures and regulatory limitations, and a combined current market value in excess of US$70 billion (€66 billion).

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DOE FCTO soliciting CRADAs on roll-to-roll manufacturing for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

June 01, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) announced a call for cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between national laboratories and industrial partners to address roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing challenges that will allow rapid transfer of manufacturing and processing technologies from the lab to the plant floor, resulting in less costly and more energy efficient products entering the marketplace. These efforts will be supported with current and prior year funds. (Solicitation Nº ORNL-R2RAMM-2017-02-02.)

A DOE laboratory consortium comprising Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) was formed to enhance battery and fuel cell electrode performance, processing of water, and R2R manufacturing technologies using an advanced materials manufacturing approach. This consortium is now accepting proposals for CRADAs.

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Bus operators launch joint procurement for 63 fuel cell buses in Germany and South Tyrol; part of JIVE

May 30, 2017

Wuppertal-based WSW mobil GmbH last week tendered the procurement of 63 fuel cell buses for operation in public transport. WSW is coordinating the joint procurement for its partners Verkehrs-Verbund Mainz-Wiesbaden GmbH; traffiQ Frankfurt; Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (all Germany); and SASA SpA-AG in Bolzano (Itay) which are going to operate these buses in the next years. The coordinated procurement of buses based on a joint specification sheet targets achieving lower prices for the buses.

The joint procurement activity is part of the JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project, an EU-funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. (Earlier post.) JIVE is going to become the largest fuel cell bus project in Europe.

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Bochum chemists develop method to produce self-healing catalyst films for hydrogen production

May 27, 2017

Chemically aggressive conditions prevail during the electrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen, wearing out the catalysts used. Further, engineering stable electrodes using highly active catalyst nanopowders for electrochemical water splitting remains a notorious challenge.

Now, chemists at the Centre for Electrochemical Sciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have devised an innovative and general approach for attaining highly stable catalyst films with self-healing capability based on in-situ self-assembly of catalyst particles during electrolysis. A team comprising Stefan Barwe, Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann and Dr Edgar Ventosa from the Bochum Chair of Analytical Chemistry reports on this in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. The work took place as part of the cluster of excellence Resolv.

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California ARB opens solicitations for $17M for On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects; Class 7, 8 trucks

May 20, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is seeking solicitations for up to $17 million in grants for the On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects approved by the Board as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).

Projects funded under this solicitation will demonstrate pre-commercial Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Trucks; Advanced Engines and Powertrains; and Zero-Emission Short and Regional Haul Trucks.

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DOE moving forward with $11.1M in funding for three ARPA-E projects

May 19, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is honoring commitments to several previously selected Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awardees, with funding of a combined $11.1 million. They are among the first awardees to move forward following the Department’s review of all taxpayer funded grants and projects, intended to ensure that each award applied good governance principles consistent with the new Administration’s policy directives.

The projects moving forward are part of ARPA-E’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) (earlier post) and Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) (earlier post) programs. Additional awardees are expected to move forward in the coming weeks.

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New mesocrystal photocatalyst enhances light-driven hydrogen production

May 18, 2017

A group of Japanese researchers has developed a novel photocatalyst for increased hydrogen production. The strontium titanate mesocrystal exhibits three times the efficiency for hydrogen evolution compared to conventional disordered systems in alkaline aqueous solution. The mesocrystal also exhibits a high quantum yield of 6.7% at 360 nm in overall water splitting and even good durability up to 1 day.

The discovery was made by a joint research team led by Associate Professor Takashi Tachikawa (Molecular Photoscience Research Center, Kobe University) and Professor Tetsuro Majima (Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Osaka University). Their findings were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

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CSIRO team working to commercialize membrane separating H2 from NH3; opening up an export market for Australia renewable H2

May 17, 2017

Researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have years of experience researching the best ways to separate pure hydrogen from mixed gas streams. Now, the researchers have developed a thin metal membrane that can separate high-purity hydrogen from ammonia used as a hydrogen carrier. Ammonia (NH3) has a number of favorable attributes for such an application, the primary one being its high capacity for hydrogen storage—17.6 wt.%, based on its molecular structure.

CSIRO’s vision is to use the membrane technology to open up a new world market for renewable hydrogen produced via electrolysis in Australia. The renewable hydrogen would first be converted to ammonia (in combination with nitrogen produced in a renewables-driven air separation unit), then be exported piggybacking on the existing transport infrastructure for ammonia, and finally be extracted from the ammonia using the membrane system for use in vehicles and other applications.

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UH team develops new, highly efficient and durable OER catalyst for water splitting

May 16, 2017

Researchers at the University of Houston have developed a catalyst—composed of easily available, low-cost materials and operating far more efficiently than previous catalyst—that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

The robust oxygen-evolving electrocatalyst consists of ferrous metaphosphate on self-supported conductive nickel foam that is commercially available in large scale. The catalyst yields current densities of 10 mA/cm2 at an overpotential of 177 mV, 500 mA/cm2 at only 265 mV, and 1,705 mA/cm2 at 300 mV, with high durability in alkaline electrolyte of 1 M KOH even after 10,000 cycles. This represents an activity enhancement by a factor of 49 in boosting water oxidation at 300 mV relative to the state-of-the-art IrO2 catalyst. A paper on their work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Ames Lab, Iowa State team develops more efficient catalytic material for fuel cell applications

May 09, 2017

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Ames Laboratory have discovered a method for making smaller, more efficient intermetallic nanoparticles for fuel cell applications, and which also use less of the expensive precious metal platinum. A paper on the work is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers succeeded by overcoming some of the technical challenges presented in the fabrication of the platinum-zinc nanoparticles with an ordered lattice structure, which function best at the small sizes in which the chemically reactive surface area is highest in proportion to the particle volume.

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New light-driven photo-electrochemical cell produces hydrogen from contaminated gas, including air

May 08, 2017

Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium, have developed an all-gas-phase solid and stand-alone photo-electrochemical (PEC) cell that produces hydrogen gas from volatile organic contaminated air and light. The device recovers part of the energy stored in airborne organic pollutants by the production of hydrogen, while mineralizing the contaminants to less harmful CO2.

The PEC degrades organic contaminants and snd produces the hydrogen gas—without applying any external bias—in separate electrode compartments. Oxidation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) occurs at the photo-anode, while hydrogen is produced at the (dark) cathode on the opposite side of a proton-conducting solid electrolyte membrane. A paper on the work is published in the journal ChemSusChem.

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Intelligent Energy tech lead in €3.5M EU DIGIMAN program to advance fuel cell stack mass production; Toyota the automotive partner

A new European program has launched to provide a blueprint to enable fully automated future mass manufacture of fuel cell stacks for the automotive market. The objective of the €3.5-million DIGIMAN program is to advance (from Manufacturing Readiness Level 4 to MRL 6) the critical steps of the PEM fuel cell assembly processes and associated in-line quality control and end-of-line testing / handover strategies and to demonstrate a route to automated volume process production capability within an automotive best practice context.

UK-based Intelligent Energy is the program’s technology lead with overall coordination provided by CEA Tech-Liten. The two companies will front a pan-European industry group to further commercialize fuel cells for the mass automotive market.

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New molybdenum-coated catalyst produces hydrogen from water-splitting more efficiently; preventing the back reaction

May 07, 2017

Water-splitting systems require a very efficient catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, while preventing the two gases from recombining back into water. Now an international research team has developed a new catalyst with a molybdenum (Mo) coating that prevents this problematic back reaction and works well in realistic operating conditions.

The research team included scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Fukuoka University, University of Tokyo, and the Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research in Shanghai, China. The work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. A paper on the work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

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California has invested $559M in cap-and-trade funds in ZEVs; state represents more than 40% of US ZEV sales

May 04, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced that California Climate Investments in zero-emission vehicles have reached $599 million since 2013, putting hundreds of thousands of ultra-clean cars, and entire fleets of zero-emission trucks and buses on California roads and highways. ARB made the announcement at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach.

The funding is from California Climate Investments, a statewide program that invests billions of cap-and-trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. Since the transportation sector overall is by far the largest contributor to the state’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, a major focus of the climate investment program has been supporting the development and deployment of next-generation zero-emission trucks, cars and buses.

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US Hybrid unveils new Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck for San Pedro Ports

May 03, 2017

US Hybrid has unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell system during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. The truck, which will be operated by Total Transportation Solutions, Inc (TTSI), is one of two fuel cell demonstration tractors scheduled for delivery at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.)

The fuel cell tractor, a Navistar International ProStar day cab, features US Hybrid’s FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell system and a 500 hp traction motor with 2,900 lb-ft of direct drive torque (3,750 N·m). It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds, an estimated driving range of 200 miles under normal drayage operation, and can be fully refueled in less than nine minutes.

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Kenworth developing hydrogen fuel cell, Near Zero NOx CNG series hybrid Class 8 prototypes for SoCal ports; CNG hybrids

Kenworth continues its advancements on low/zero emission projects focused on Kenworth T680 day cabs for drayage tractor operation in Southern California ports, which are backed by $9 million in government grants awarded last August.

Kenworth is developing a prototype Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell tractor, using the Ballard Power Systems fuel cell to recharge the battery pack. The hydrogen fuel cell series hybrid T680 day cab tractor uses lithium-ion batteries to power a dual-rotor electric motor, driving the rear tandem axle through a 4-speed automated transmission. Kenworth’s hydrogen truck is expected to be ready for initial track and on-road testing in the fourth quarter of this year.

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UPS to deploy prototype Class 6 extended range fuel cell electric vehicle delivery truck; trials begin in Q3

May 02, 2017

UPS will deploy a prototype extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in its Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. UPS is working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of UPS’ existing conventional fuel vehicles.

The UPS trucks are equipped with a 32 kW Hydrogenics fuel cell coupled to 45 kWh of battery storage and 10 kg of hydrogen fuel. Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges its batteries, thereby providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. This will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.

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Ricardo collaborating with Toyota on Project Portal Class 8 fuel cell truck

Toyota’s Project Portal is designing a heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell system for class 8 truck use at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.) Ricardo provided technical assistance to the project, including areas of design, vehicle build, testing and development, and is currently supporting vehicle trials.

Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functional heavy-duty Class 8 truck with adequate power and torque capacity to conduct port drayage operations while emitting nothing but water vapor. Heavy duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the San Pedro Bay ports, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.

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Oita team develops new process for producing hydrogen from ammonia without external heat source

April 29, 2017

Researchers at Oita University in Japan have developed an innovative process for the production of hydrogen from ammonia without the need for an external heat source to initiate or maintain the reaction. An open access paper on their work is published in the journal Science Advances.

Liquid ammonia (NH3) has been considered as a carrier (storage medium) for hydrogen that could alleviate the challenges of transporting, handling and storing hydrogen for commercial applications. However, the adoption of ammonia as a H2 carrier, especially for household and transportable devices, has been limited due to the lack of an efficient process for producing H2 and nitrogen by the oxidative decomposition of ammonia.

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Technion team devises method for on-demand H2 production from water and aluminum for aviation applications

April 28, 2017

Aerospace engineers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed and patented a process for on-demand hydrogen production from the reaction of activated aluminum powder and water for commercial aircraft applications. The hydrogen produced on-board during flight can be used in a fuel cell to generate electric energy for auxiliary power.

In addition to fresh water, the waste water available on-board the aircraft can be used for hydrogen generation. The researchers demonstrated high reaction rates producing about 200-600 ml/min/g Al of hydrogen at a high yield of about 90% was demonstrated. The possibility to use the available waste water leads to high specific electric energy of up to about 850 Wh/kg. The work was reported in a recent paper published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

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SunLine Transit receives $12.5M for five H2-powered buses, H2 generating station in Coachella Valley

April 21, 2017

California Climate Investments is awarding a $12.5-million grant to SunLine Transit Agency for five new zero-emission New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the US of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.

The grant is part of the state’s effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.

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USC team demonstrates novel hydrogen storage system; amine reforming of methanol

April 20, 2017

A team at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, has demonstrated a novel hydrogen storage system based on the release of hydrogen from catalytic dehydrogenative coupling of methanol and 1,2-diamine. The hydrogen-generating step of this process can be termed as “amine reforming of methanol”—in analogy to traditional steam methane reforming, but without the concurrent production of CO2 (unlike steam reforming) or CO (by complete methanol dehydrogenation).

A paper on the team’s work, which is part of their long-term development of aspects of the “Methanol Economy” (earlier post), is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Toyota North America unveils hydrogen-fuel-cell heavy-duty truck proof-of-concept; twin Mirai fuel cell stacks

April 19, 2017

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) revealed “Project Portal”—a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty trucks applied in a Class 8 truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).

Announced at a press conference with Port officials and representatives from California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the zero-emission truck proof-of-concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications. The study will begin this summer and contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has significantly reduced harmful emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.

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NREL researchers capture excess photon energy to produce solar fuels; higher efficiency water-splitting for H2

April 14, 2017

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a proof-of-principle photoelectrochemical cell (PEC) capable of capturing excess photon energy normally lost to generating heat.

Using quantum dots (QD) and a process called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG), the NREL researchers were able to push the peak external quantum efficiency for hydrogen generation to 114%. The advancement could significantly boost the production of hydrogen from sunlight by using the cell to split water at a higher efficiency and lower cost than current photoelectrochemical approaches. The research is outlined in a paper in Nature Energy.

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KAUST team alters atomic composition of MoS2 to boost performance as water-splitting catalyst for H2 production

April 13, 2017

Researchers at KAUST have developed and used a novel way of increasing the chemical reactivity of a two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide material to produce a cheap and effective catalyst for water splitting to produce hydrogen. This technique may also have potential benefits for other manufacturing industries.

One route to hydrogen generation is by electrolysis: passing an electrical current through water via two electrodes to cause a chemical reaction that breaks the water molecule into its component hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The speed of this hydrogen evolution reaction can be increased using a catalyst on the electrodes. Platinum is a perfect material for the job, but is it very expensive.

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NREL sets new world efficiency record for solar hydrogen production: 16.2%

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recaptured the record for highest efficiency in solar hydrogen production via a photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting process.

The new solar-to-hydrogen (STH) efficiency record is 16.2%, topping a reported 14% efficiency in 2015 by an international team made up of researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, TU Ilmenau, Fraunhofer ISE and the California Institute of Technology. A paper in Nature Energy outlines how NREL’s new record was achieved. The authors are James Young, Myles Steiner, Ryan France, John Turner, and Todd Deutsch, all from NREL, and Henning Döscher of Philipps-Universität Marburg in Germany. Döscher has an affiliation with NREL.

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HYREADY collaboration supports introduction of power-to-gas H2 into natural gas infrastructure

March 31, 2017

The addition of hydrogen produced by renewable sources (e.g., electrolysis powered by renewable electricity) to natural gas supports the decarbonization of the natural gas system and integration of sustainable energy sources. However, the properties of hydrogen differ significantly from those of natural gas, and its introduction into the gas infrastructure may negatively impact public safety, the integrity of the gas system and the performance of end-use equipment.

The HYREADY joint industry project (JIP), led by DNV GL, intends to encourage the industry to “Be ready for Hydrogen” by developing practical processes and procedures for the introduction of hydrogen to the grid. HYREADY focuses on the consequences of H2 added to natural gas in an existing specific network and on feasible countermeasures to mitigate these consequences.

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SoCalGas & UC Irvine show power-to-gas technology able to boost use of intermittent renewable energy significantly

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that new research on power-to-gas technology shows the technique holds the ability to significantly increase the use of intermittent renewable energy. The finding came out of ongoing research conducted at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and funded by SoCalGas.

Preliminary research findings, announced this week at UCI’s International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation (ICEPAG), demonstrated that the campus microgrid could increase the portion of renewable energy it uses from 3.5% to 35% by implementing a power-to-gas strategy.

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Aalto University team develops promising new electrocatalyst for hydrogen evolution reaction; one-hundredth the amount of Pt

March 26, 2017

A group of Aalto University (Finland) researchers led by professors Tanja Kallio and Kari Laasonen has developed a manufacturing method for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) electrocatalysts that use only one-hundredth of the amount of platinum generally used in commercial products.

They achieved pseudo atomic-scale dispersion of Pt—i.e. individual atoms or sub-nanometer clusters—on the sidewalls of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with a simple and readily up-scalable electroplating deposition method. These SWNTs activated with an ultra-low amount of Pt exhibit a similar activity to that of a commercial Pt/C with a notable higher (~66-333 fold) Pt loading for catalyzing hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) under the acidic conditions required in proton exchange membrane technology. A paper on their work is published in the journal ACS Catalysis.

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Successful first test run of Alstom Coradia iLint fuel cell train; signed letters of intent for 60 trains

March 15, 2017

Alstom successfully performed the first test run at 80 km/h (50 mph) of the fuel cell passenger train Coradia iLint (earlier post) on its own test track in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony (Germany). An extensive test campaign will be conducted in Germany and Czech Republic in the coming months before the Coradia iLint performs its first passenger test runs on the Buxtehude–Bremervörde–Bremerhaven–Cuxhaven (Germany) route beginning of 2018.

The four-week test runs currently underway in Salzgitter aim at confirming the stability of the energy supply system based on coordinated interaction between the drive, the fuel cell and the battery of the vehicle. The braking power is also being tested to check the interface between the pneumatic and the electric brake.

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