DOE Awards $7 Million for Storage Technologies in Fuel Cell Vehicles

December 14, 2011

DOE announced on December 12 more than $7 million in funding for four projects in California, Oregon, and Washington to advance hydrogen storage technologies for use in fuel-cell electric vehicles. The 3-year projects will help cut costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks. DOE is committed to advanced fuel cell technology research to help domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles to market.

The selected organizations are providing close to $2 million in cost share for projects to lower the cost of compressed hydrogen storage systems and develop advanced materials for hydrogen storage. Compressed hydrogen storage provides a near-term pathway to commercialization, and reduced costs for 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 allow.

Among the projects, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems by focusing on improving carbon fiber composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. HRL Laboratories, LLC, of Malibu, California, will investigate an innovative approach to hydrogen storage using engineered liquids that can efficiently absorb and release hydrogen gas. DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and partners will use a theory-guided approach to synthesize novel materials with high hydrogen-adsorption capacities. And, a teamed headed by the University of Oregon, including DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 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. See the DOE press release and the Fuel Cell Technologies Program website.