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DOE launches Hydrogen Shot Fellowship

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy recently announced the Energy Earthshots Initiative aimed at accelerating breakthroughs of more abundant, affordable, and reliable clean energy solutions within the decade. The first Energy Earthshot, launched 7 June—Hydrogen Shot—seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade (“1-1-1”). (Earlier post.)

Achieving the Hydrogen Shot’s $1/kg cost goal will enable new markets for hydrogen, including energy storage, steel manufacturing, clean ammonia, and heavy-duty trucks.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is now launching the Hydrogen Shot Fellowship to recruit diverse talent who can contribute to make Hydrogen Shot a reality.

Funded through DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), Hydrogen Shot Fellows will engage in Hydrogen Shot related work from one or more HFTO technical programs, including Hydrogen Technologies, Fuel Cell Technologies, Technology Acceleration, and Systems Analysis, as well as other functional areas including communications, workforce development, and stakeholder engagement and inclusion.

HFTO plans to bring in 1-2 Hydrogen Shot Fellows per fiscal year, depending on needs and funding available from individual HFTO programs or functional areas.

  • HFTO’s Hydrogen Technologies Program is looking for a Hydrogen Shot Fellow to focus on clean hydrogen production and infrastructure research and development, including electrolysis and water splitting technologies. Key areas of RDD&D within the Hydrogen Production sub-Program include: electrolysis, solar thermochemical, photoelectrochemical, and biological processes. Key areas of RDD&D within the Infrastructure sub-Program include: materials compatibility, liquefaction, pipelines, tube trailers, materials based storage, and technologies used at hydrogen fueling stations, such as compressors, storage vessels, dispensers, and cryopumps. Specifically, candidates with experience in electrolysis for hydrogen production are of interest as low-cost hydrogen from electrolysis will be key to meeting the Hydrogen Shot Goal of $1/kg in one decade.

  • HFTO’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program is looking for a Hydrogen Shot Fellow to focus on reversible fuel cells (RFCs) for power generation and energy storage applications, as well as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) for medium and heavy-duty transportation applications. Specifically, candidates with experience in fuel cell materials, components, stacks, and systems are of interest.

  • HFTO’s Systems Analysis (SA) Program is looking for a Hydrogen Shot Fellow to engage in critical review of analyses, stakeholder engagement to inform analysis priorities, briefing materials, and coordination of analysis efforts across HFTO and with other DOE Offices. SA funds cross-cutting analysis that informs RDD&D priorities by characterizing the value proposition of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in emerging applications (e.g., steelmaking, chemicals, energy storage, and heavy-duty transportation), life cycle emissions as well as technical and cost barriers to market adoption.



Reform Bio methane



You can reform bio-methane but unfortunately, there is simply not enough bio-methane available to meet the needed amounts of hydrogen.


SJC is innumerate; he can't math.


Use natural gas and sequester the carbon


Methane pyrolysis is a fundamentally new process technology that splits natural gas or biomethane directly into the components hydrogen and solid carbon. This process requires relatively little energy. And if it uses electricity from renewable sources, there are actually no greenhouse gas emissions.


UPS recently made a commitment to purchasing 250 million gallon equivalents of RNG over the next seven years, making the company the largest consumer of RNG in the transportation industry.


Direct solar to hydrogen is also making progress:

They have hit 17.6% efficiency, which is pretty darn good, with the next stages being to go to 20%, which they are confident of, and to move from precious metals, which perhaps will be tougher.

The great advantage of course is that you don't have to go through the extra step of electrolysis.

The link gives Australia for export, but that might not be optimal as at least for lower grade hydrogen export as ammonia is usually preferred.

I would see the natural home of this as being in many places in the US, where the solar resources are often plentiful and demand is right to hand.


Here is a manganese cobalt phosphorus catalyst which the researchers reckon would work even for the home production of hydrogen:


Methane pyrolysis Could be cost effective


@SJC Perhaps methane pyrolysis and bagging the carbon on heavy vehicles could work.


What can I say?  I suggested using MeOH in SOFCs and storing the CO2 for re-use.  I suspect the energy density would be considerably higher than using H2, especially because the tank pressure required to hold CO2 is way less than H2.  I need to work this out, though.  No theory is complete until the math has been done.

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