The US Department of Energy is awarding more than $7 million to fund four 3-year projects in California, Washington and Oregon to advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel-cell-electric vehicles. The selected organizations will provide close to $2 million in cost share.
The projects focus on lowering the cost of compressed hydrogen storage systems and on developing advanced materials for hydrogen storage. Compressed hydrogen storage provides a near-term pathway to commercialization, and reducing the costs of compressed tank systems will accelerate their market availability and adoption. Advanced materials-based hydrogen storage technologies will enable more efficient storage at lower pressures than current compressed hydrogen tanks.
The four projects selected for awards are:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, up to $2.1 million. DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company, Lincoln Composites, Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. and AOC Inc., will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will focus on improving carbon fiber composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. Through these advances, the team expects to lower the cost of manufacturing high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels by more than a third relative to current projections.
HRL Laboratories, LLC, up to $1.2 million. HRL Laboratories will investigate an innovative approach to hydrogen storage using engineered liquids that can efficiently absorb and release hydrogen gas. Liquids confined in porous structures have been shown to absorb significantly more gas and could create sites for hydrogen molecules that did not exist in the bulk liquid alone. HRL will use this concept to develop composite materials capable of dissolving up to 50 times greater quantities of hydrogen than in the bulk liquid, with the goal of enabling a high density, compact hydrogen storage option.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, up to $2.1 million. DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, partnering with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and General Motors, will use a theory-guided approach to synthesize novel materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities. The team will develop and test metal-organic framework materials that have surfaces allowing high density of hydrogen, as well as materials with pores engineered to enable hydrogen storage at near-ambient temperatures.
University of Oregon, up to $2.0 million. The University of Oregon, along with The University of Alabama, DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Protonex Technology Corporation, will develop and test promising new materials for hydrogen storage. The proposed chemical hydrogen storage materials could enable liquid refueling, and regeneration of the hydrogen storage material, within temperature and pressure ranges suitable for both onboard mobile and stationary fuel cell applications.