DOE SBIR/STTR FY18 BES Phase 1 Release 1 awards include 15 for hydrogen and fuel cells

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the 2018 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 1 awards, including 15 projects focused on high density hydrogen storage, innovative ionomers (ion-containing polymers) in the catalyst layer, gas diffusion layers, and membranes for electrochemical production... Read more →


SoCalGas introduces STARS solar hydrogen generation system at California Air Resources Board Symposium

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) introduced an innovative new solar-powered hydrogen generation system during the California Air Resources Board Technology Expo and Symposium at the University of California, Riverside. The project is a partnership between SoCalGas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the STARS Corporation. The generation system uses sunlight... Read more →


Researchers from Virginia Tech developed an in vitro artificial enzymatic pathway that can produce hydrogen at extremely high rates by splitting water energized by carbohydrates (e.g., starch). As reported in a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the pathway delivered up to a 1,000-fold enhancement in volumetric... Read more →


New protocol to enhance photosynthetic production of hydrogen from green algae

A research group from the University of Turku, Finland, has developed a new protocol to deliver sustained hydrogen photoproduction in green algae under a train of strong white light pulses interrupted by longer dark phases. As reported in a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, under the... Read more →


Exeter team develops low-cost photoelectrode for spontaneous water-splitting using sunlight

Researchers at the University of Exeter (UK) have developed a novel p-type LaFeO3 photoelectrode using an inexpensive and scalable spray pyrolysis method. The nanostructured photoelectrode results in spontaneous hydrogen evolution from water without any external bias applied with a faradaic efficiency of 30% and excellent stability. The researchers believe this... Read more →


Grannus Process designed BACT by US EPA for production of hydrogen or ammonia

Grannus, LLC’s Grannus Process has been designated as Best Available Control Technology (BACT) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for production of hydrogen or ammonia. The designation was achieved because the processes’ emissions levels are well below Federal, State and local permit application requirements—even in non-attainment zones. The reference... Read more →


Researchers in Canada have demonstrated a new photochemical diode artificial photosynthesis system that can enable efficient, unassisted overall pure water splitting without using any sacrificial reagent. As reported in an open-access paper in Nature Communications, the wafer-level photochemical diode arrays exhibited solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of ~3.3% in neutral (pH ~ 7.0) overall water... Read more →


Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-fuel-cell range-extended electric semi-trucks from Nikola Motor Company. The trucks—which will be able to travel between 500 and 1,200 miles and be refilled within 20 minutes, reducing idle time—are expected to be integrated into Anheuser-Busch’s dedicated fleet beginning in 2020. Rendering... Read more →


€26M ZEFER project to introduce 180 fuel cell electric vehicles into fleets in Paris, Brussels and London

The European ZEFER (Zero Emission Fleet vehicles for European Roll-out) project will deploy large fleets of 60 hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in each of three European capitals (Paris, London and Brussels). (One hundred seventy FCEVs will be operated as taxi or private-hire vehicles, and the remaining 10 will be... Read more →


Plug Power Inc. and Workhorse Group, Inc. have delivered to FedEx Express its first North American fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) delivery van for on-road use. The Class-5 EGEN delivery van is built by Workhorse Group and charged by a Plug Power ProGen hydrogen fuel cell system (2 x 10... Read more →


Ammonia (NH3) has been drawing attention as a carbon-free alternative fuel. NH3 could be widely used in thermal power generation and industrial furnaces as an alternative to gasoline and light oil. However, compared with fossil fuels, NH3 has a high ignition temperature; a low combustion rate and N2O/NOx production. To... Read more →


A team led by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan has fabricated non-noble-metal electrodes for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) for electrochemical water splitting using a bicontinuous and open porous NiMo alloy covered by nitrogen-doped (N-doped) graphene with nanometer-sized holes. This noble-metal-free HER catalyst exhibits performance almost identical... Read more →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Read more →


CARB cracks down on Low Carbon Fuel Standard violators; $785K in penalties for three companies

Three energy companies have agreed to fines totaling $785,000 following investigations by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). All three companies violated provisions of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). SK Energy Americas agreed to a $395,000 penalty for failure to meet the carbon intensity target for 2014. Alon USA... Read more →


The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has awarded New Flyer a contract for 10 Xcelsior hydrogen fuel cell electric, forty-foot, heavy-duty transit buses (10 equivalent units). OCTA and New Flyer are partners in the Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium (FCEBCC) project. This project is sponsored by a grant from... Read more →


Shell and Toyota moving forward with hydrogen facility for freight at Port of Long Beach with $8M award from CEC

Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, and Toyota have been provisionally awarded $8 million by the GFO-17-603 to develop the first hydrogen-truck refueling station at the Port of Long Beach. The funding, which is contingent upon the approval of the project at an upcoming CEC meeting,... Read more →


U of Bristol leading nanoCAGE project to use new approach to hydrogen storage; potential 10x improvement

The University of Bristol is leading a US$1.4-million (£947,336) project—NanoComposites for Active Gas Encapsulation (nanoCAGE)—which will deliver smart composite materials to address the problem of safe and efficient hydrogen storage. A low-density gas, hydrogen is challenging to store on-board a vehicle. Nanoporous materials (materials containing holes only a few nanometers... Read more →


Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), alongside Shell Technology Ventures (STV), has taken a stake in High-Yield Energy Technologies (HyET) (earlier post), a Dutch company that has developed cost-effective electrochemical hydrogen compression (EHC) technology. HyET’s technology is a reliable substitute for mechanical hydrogen compression both in existing industrial applications and in hydrogen... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) announced up to $39 million in available funding to support early stage research and development (R&D) of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. (DE-FOA-0001874) The work supported through this investment will address key early-stage technical challenges for fuel cells... Read more →


The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments and a consortium of companies have launched the pilot of an innovative supply chain that will deliver liquefied hydrogen from the Latrobe Valley in Australia to Japan. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will convert brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine... Read more →


Nikola Motor Company hires Jesse Schneider from BMW as hydrogen and fuel cell technologies VP

Nikola Motors, the startup developing a Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck (earlier post) has hired Jesse Schneider as vice president of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. A noted hydrogen and fuel cell expert, Schneider is an automotive industry veteran who spent most of his career working for... Read more →


Moody’s Japan says push for electrified vehicles poses credit challenges for key Japanese sectors

Moody’s Japan K.K. says that the push toward alternative-fuel vehicles—battery electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles—poses a credit challenge for multiple sectors in Japan, with the large auto sector and sectors such as steel and refining most affected. Over the next decade, Japanese auto manufacturers and associated industries... Read more →


Impact Coatings, which develops and sells technology for PVD-coatings of fuel cell plates and vehicle reflectors, recently received its first production order for Ceramic MaxPhase coatings from Michelin. PVD (physical vapor deposition) is a method of producing thin layers of metals and ceramics under vacuum for surface coatings that maximize... Read more →


Ceres Power, a UK-based spin-out from Imperial College, recently unveiled a new 5kW stack platform and the latest advancements of its SteelCell V5 solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. (Earlier post.) In less than two years, five global OEMs have signed joint development agreements to work with the SteelCell including Cummins... Read more →


Toyota Mobility Foundation awards 10 grants for hydrogen research initiative

The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has selected ten researchers to receive grants from the research program to support innovative hydrogen energy solutions launched last year. (Earlier post.) The Hydrogen Research Initiative started in July 2017 to support innovative research to reduce the output of carbon dioxide and/or the cost of... Read more →


ITM Power to study large-scale production of renewable hydrogen in British Columbia; export to Japan and California

The British Columbia Government Ministries of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and Jobs, Trade and Technology has awarded ITM Power a grant to undertake a Power-to-Gas (P2G) feasibility study. In the initial phase of the project, ITM Power will undertake a techno-economic feasibility study for the large-scale centralized production of... Read more →


UK government announces £48M for Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme; at least 30% less GHG than Euro VI bus

UK Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani announced a new Ultra-Low Emission Bus (ULEB) Scheme. The program will see local authorities and operators in England and Wales bid for a share of a £48 million (US$667.5 million) fund, which they can use to buy hundreds of new ultra-low emission buses as well... Read more →


UK-based ULEMCo—a spin-out from Revolve Technologies focused on conversions of diesel vehicles to hydrogen dual fuel operation—has collaborated with Aberdeen City Council (ACC) to deliver the first hydrogen dual fuel road sweeper. The vehicles will use hydrogen fuel for around a third of the energy used to drive and operate... Read more →


Daimler is currently systematically preparing for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL; the company had shown preproduction models of the hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt last September (Earlier post.) The plug-in hybrid SUV will be produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.... Read more →


Air Products to provide hydrogen fueling equipment to China Energy Investment Group’s first hydrogen fueling station in China

Air Products signed an agreement with state-owned Shenhua New Energy Co. Ltd. (New Energy), a subsidiary of China’s energy conglomerate China Energy Investment Group Co., Ltd. (China Energy), to provide two hydrogen dispensers to China Energy’s first commercial hydrogen fueling station project in Rugao City of Jiangsu Province, eastern China.... Read more →


11 more multinationals join Hydrogen Council

Eleven international oil & gas, energy, science & technology and automotive companies from Asia, North America and Europe have joined the Hydrogen Council. The newcomers almost double Council membership one year on from its launch. Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2017, the Hydrogen Council (earlier... Read more →


Researchers at Australia’s RMIT University have demonstrated for the first time a working rechargeable “proton battery”. (Earlier post.) The rechargeable battery is environmentally friendly, and has the potential, with further development, to store more energy than currently-available lithium ion batteries. The working prototype proton battery combines the best aspects of... Read more →


Lightning Systems, a global developer of efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets, announced that it is on schedule for March deliveries of its new battery-electric LightningElectric conversion system for Ford Transit. The LightningElectric conversion package for Ford Transit was announced last September as part of Ford Motor Company’s eQVM... Read more →


Eleven companies, including automakers Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, and Honda Motor, have jointly formed Japan H2 Mobility, LLC (JHyM), aimed at the full-fledged development of hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles (FCV) in Japan. The newly formed JHyM will foster the deployment of hydrogen stations throughout Japan under the guidance... Read more →


Van Hool, the Belgium-based independent bus, coach and industrial vehicles manufacturer, has landed a significant contract with RVK Köln and WSW Wuppertal (Germany), to supply 40 hydrogen buses of the latest generation. This order consists of 30 fuel cell buses for Cologne and 10 for Wuppertal, making it the largest... Read more →


Ontario is taking the next steps in exploring the potential of Hydrail (hydrogen-powered rail technology) as an alternative to conventional electric trains. Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation, released the province’s detailed Hydrogen Rail (Hydrail) Feasibility Study, which found that it would be feasible to build and operate electrified rail service... Read more →


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory was used recently in a partnership with KPA Services, LLC (KPA), at the request of Toyota Motors to validate hydrogen sensors for incorporation into their system to adapt vehicle repair facilities for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory... Read more →


The life-cycle water consumption of fuel cell electric vehicles using hydrogen produced from natural gas with steam methane reforming is almost 50% less than the life-cycle water consumption of conventional internal combustion engine vehicles using gasoline, according to a study by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). If the hydrogen... Read more →


The US Air Force is demonstrating the use of hydrogen as an alternate fuel source at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. In a recent visit to JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, members of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Energy and Operations directorates were given a tour of the installation’s hydrogen production... Read more →


Ballard Power Systems announced the planned deployment of 500 licensed hydrogen fuel cell electric commercial trucks—all using Ballard fuel cell stack technology—in Shanghai, China. Each of the 500 Dongfeng Special Vehicle trucks is now licensed, plated and powered by a 30 kW fuel cell system that was designed and integrated... Read more →


DGIST, PNNL team develops efficient, low-cost anode material for water electrolysis

Researchers at S. Korea’s DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology), with colleagues at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), have developed a low-cost, highly efficient and ultra-durable core-shell nanostructured electrocatalyst that exhibits an improved oxygen evolution activity and stability compared to that of the commercial noble metal electrodes. They... Read more →


A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... Read more →


Trillium CNG expands offerings to include hydrogen fueling

Trillium CNG, a leading US provider of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fueling facilities and part of the Love’s Family of Companies, will design, build and maintain hydrogen fueling stations. Trillium’s new services also include electric vehicle charging infrastructure, solar panel installation, and microgrid design and construction. The company will... Read more →


Researchers at Washington State University, with colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have combined inexpensive nickel and iron in a very simple, five-minute process to create large amounts of a high-quality catalyst required for water splitting. By in situ reduction of the metal precursors, the researchers... Read more →


Three of Hyundai Motor Company’s next-generation NEXO fuel-cell-electric vehicles (earlier post) have completed a self-driven 118-mile (190 km) journey from Seoul to Pyeongchang. This is the first time that level 4 autonomous driving has been achieved with fuel-cell-electric vehicles. Five Hyundai vehicles completed the journey. Three vehicles are based on... Read more →


California’s SunLine Transit Agency has put into service a new zero-emission bus that will have the capability to cover any route in its service territory—even with the air conditioner operating at maximum levels in the middle of the summer. With funding from the private sector, the Federal Transit Administration, and... Read more →


California Governor orders 5M ZEV target for 2030; more hydrogen fueling and EV charging stations

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed executive order B-48-18, directing all State entities to work with the private sector and all appropriate levels of government to put at least 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2030. Brown had mentioned the 5-million target in his State... Read more →


€106M JIVE 2 project launches in Europe; 152 fuel cell buses across 14 European cities

In Europe, the JIVE 2 project (Second Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) launched this week. Coordinated by Element Energy, and supported by a €25-million (US$31.2-million) grant from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), the JIVE 2 project will deploy 152 fuel cell electric buses across... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Twente’s MESA+ research institute have made significant efficiency improvements to the technology used to generate solar fuels. They fabricated a highly efficient photocathode by spatially and functionally decoupling light absorption and catalytic activity. As reported in a paper in the journal Nature Energy, their silicon... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, with colleagues at Stanford have developed a general approach for the production of inexpensive, efficient and durable catalysts for PEM fuel cells: 1D porous nitrogen-doped graphitic carbon fibers embedded with active oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst components (M/MOx, i.e., metal or metal oxide... Read more →