When Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced $575 M in funding for hydrogen research last week, he outlined four primary research areas: storage, demonstrations, fuel cell research and education.
The Department of Energy has made hydrogen storage a Grand Challenge -- a call to the research and technical community for a specific scientific or technological innovation that would remove a critical barrier to solving an important problem.
That problem, in the case of the H2 economy and transportation, is storing enough hydrogen to enable a greater than 300-mile driving range without impacting cargo or passenger space. $170 Million of the funding is going toward this Grand Challenge over the next 5 years.
There are three primary centers for the work, each exploring a different technical path. Each has a lead National Laboratory and different combinations of university, research and industry partners. These are outlined in the chart at the right. (Click to enlarge.)
In addition there are 15 individual projects in this area researching:
new materials for storage
chemical hydrides for storage
life cycle and cost analysis
Broken out, it doesnt seem like an awful lot of money. This represents, however, a big jump from the budget for 2002 in which the DOE had only $31 Million for its hydrogen energy programs.
The leads and the partners in these projects are listed in the chart to the right. (Click on image to enlarge.)