[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.]
DOE issues RFI for hydrogen delivery R&D, targeting cost of $2-4 gge
May 14, 2013
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request for Information (DE-FOA-0000920) seeking feedback from stakeholders for hydrogen delivery research and development activities aimed at lowering the cost of hydrogen delivery technologies in order to reach the threshold cost goal of $2-4 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge) produced, delivered and dispensed of hydrogen.
The RFI is not a funding opportunity announcement, although DOE said it may issue such an FOA in the future. The RFI covers two main areas of interest: Compression, Storage and Dispensing; and Liquefaction.
German researchers improve catalyst for steam reforming of methanol with salt coating; enabler for renewable energy storage systems
April 19, 2013
Researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany) report in the journal Angewandte Chemie their development of an enhanced platinum catalyst for the steam reforming of methanol to release hydrogen.
A central problem of renewable energy technology lies in the great variation of energy generated (i.e., intermittency). One proposed solution is methanol-based hydrogen storage. In this scenario, excess renewable electricity can be used to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen, in turn, is then reacted with carbon dioxide to make methanol and water, thus allowing it to be stored as a liquid. The hydrogen can be released from the methanol at a later time to power a fuel cell.
DOE issues RFI for feedback on technology validation and deployment for commercialization of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies
March 13, 2013
The US Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office has issued a Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000873) seeking feedback from stakeholders regarding technology validation and deployment activities aimed at ensuring commercial readiness and stimulating commercialization of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office would like information on which hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are ready for technology validation—specifically, at a Technology Readiness Level of 6 or higher. Durability testing in real world environments and applications is fundamental to technology validation activities. Specific Areas of Interest (AOIs) for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies include:
New low-temperature catalytic process for producing hydrogen from methanol; potential future application for fuel cell vehicles
February 28, 2013
|(a) Schematic pathway for a homogeneously catalyzed methanol reforming process via three discrete dehydrogenation steps. (b) Best performing catalysts. Nielsen et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers from Germany and Italy have developed an efficient low-temperature catalytic process to produce hydrogen from methanol. Hydrogen generation by this method proceeds at 65–95 °C (149-203 °F) and ambient pressure with excellent catalyst turnover frequencies (4,700 per hour) and turnover numbers (exceeding 350,000). This could make the delivery of hydrogen on mobile devices—and hence the use of methanol as a practical hydrogen carrier—eventually feasible, the team suggests in a paper published in the journal Nature.
One of the challenges to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is the efficient on-board storage of adequate amounts of the hydrogen gas required for fuel cell operation due to the properties of the gas. Methanol conceptually is an interesting alternative, as it is a liquid at room temperature (easier transportation and handling) and contains 12.6% hydrogen. However, current methanol reforming technologies for the production of hydrogen are conducted at high temperatures (> 200 °C) and high pressures (25–50 bar), limiting potential mobile applications of “so-called reformed methanol fuel cells”, they note.
California ARB holding hearing on adopting amendments to LEV III to support compliance options using new Federal GHG regulations
September 14, 2012
The California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) will conduct a public hearing on 15 November in Sacramento to consider adopting amendments to the Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV III) greenhouse gas emissions standards, and additional minor revisions to the LEV III criteria pollutant and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations, approved by the Board earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
The objective of the rulemaking is to follow through on the commitment made to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by ARB Chairman Mary Nichols in 2011 and in Board Resolutions 12-11 and 12-21 to propose for adoption appropriate language to accept manufacturer-demonstrated compliance with the new final national passenger motor vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for MYs 2017–2025 (earlier post) as an option to achieve compliance with California’s separate but aligned regulations for those model years.
Northwestern team synthesizes MOFs with highest surface areas yet and calculates new theoretical upper limit 39% beyond current; implications for gas storage
August 28, 2012
A team at Northwestern University has synthesized, characterized, and computationally simulated/validated the behavior of two new metal-organic framework (MOF) materials (NU-109 and NU-110) displaying the highest experimental Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface areas of any porous materials reported to date (~7,000 m2/g). This could eventually translate into the highest MOF-based gas storage capacity yet.
Additionally, the team demonstrated computationally a new surface area ceiling for MOFs (~14,600 m2/g) that substantially exceeds what much of the MOF community perceives to be a theoretical upper limit (~10,500 m2/g)—a 39% increase. Their work is published as an open access paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
UNSW team demonstrates high reversible hydrogen storage capacity under mild conditions for sodium borohydride using novel core-shell nanostructure; potential for vehicles
August 15, 2012
|The core-shell NaBH4@Ni nanoparticles show high reversible hydrogen storage under reasonable conditions. Credit: ACS, Christian and Aguey-Zinsou. Click to enlarge.|
A team from the University of New South Wales (Australia) reports on a novel core-shell strategy leading to high and stable hydrogen absorption/desorption cycling for sodium borohydride (NaBH4) under mild pressure conditions (4 MPa) in an open-access paper in the journal ACS Nano. The results could create an opportunity for the use of borohydride materials for hydrogen storage in vehicles.
With a high storage capacity (10.8 mass %), sodium borohydride is a promising hydrogen storage material. However, the temperature for hydrogen release is high (> 500 °C) and reversibility of the release is unachievable under reasonable conditions. Most hydrogen storage research using NaBH4 has focused on its hydrolysis rather than thermolysis for hydrogen generation; the hydrolysis route has been put aside for automotive applications because of the non-reversibility of the process, Meganne Christian and Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou noted in their paper.
Ammine titanium borohydrides as promising solid-state hydrogen storage systems
August 13, 2012
Researchers at Fudan University (China) have synthesized stable ammine titanium borohydrides (ATBs) with favorable dehydrogenation properties and potential regeneration ability, making them promising candidates for solid-state hydrogen storage materials.
In a paper published in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials, Yuan et al. report the production of three ATBs—Ti(BH4)3·5NH3, Li2Ti(BH4)5•5NH3 and Ti(BH4)3•3NH3 via a metathesis reaction of metal chloride ammoniates (TiCl3•5NH3 and TiCl3•3NH3) and lithium borohydride. Dehydrogenation results revealed that:
Battelle completing multi-year safety testing program for compressed hydrogen storage systems for vehicles
July 16, 2012
Battelle is wrapping up a multi-year safety testing program—including the development of test methods and then conducting the safety tests—for 350 bar and 700 bar hydrogen storage systems for use in vehicles. Battelle won a competitive bid contract in 2008 for the program from the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Battelle has for decades served as an integral resource for developing safety test methods for new vehicle technology; the institute provides NHTSA data and information that the agency can use to establish the federal motor vehicle safety standards for new vehicles, said Dr. Denny Stephens, Research Leader for Integrated Vehicle and Transportation Systems at Battelle, who led and managed the team on the hydrogen testing project.
Cella Energy partners with NASA Kennedy Space Center to develop its solid-state micro-bead hydrogen storage technology
July 11, 2012
Hydrogen storage start-up Cella Energy’s US subsidiary has signed a contract with NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for the further research, development and potential production of its micro-bead, polymer-encapsulated chemical hydride technology. (Earlier post.) Cella already has offices in the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at Kennedy and is expected to become an early tenant at Exploration Park, a research center now under construction at the space center.
KSC’s obligation under the agreement is to serve as a consultant to Cella for developing an integrated solution for hydrogen storage and help Cella incorporate Kennedy-developed hydrogen-sensing color-changing polymers. Cella also is interested in working with lightweight aerofoam and aeroplastic, another innovation of NASA’s, notable for their thermal insulating properties.