DOE Awards More than $5 Million to Reduce Cost of Advanced Fuel Cells

April 4, 2012

Photo of a large, square fuel cell outdoors behind a fence.

A DOE initiative will focus on boosting the performance of fuel cell systems for vehicles and stationary applications, like this one.
Credit: DOE

DOE announced on March 29 its investment of $5 million in two research projects that will aim to reduce the cost of advanced fuel cells. The department awarded $3 million to 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, and $2 million to Eaton Corporation in Southfield, Michigan. The 3-year projects will focus on boosting the performance of fuel cell systems for vehicles and stationary applications while driving down costs.

Both projects will seek to lower the cost of advanced fuel cell systems by developing durable and highly efficient fuel cell components. 3M's project will focus on boosting the performance of fuel cell systems with an approach based on integrating their state-of-the-art catalyst with membranes and other fuel cell components. 3M partners include General Motors, DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Michigan Technological University. Eaton's work will concentrate on improving the performance of fuel cell systems. Eaton's project will modify their existing air compression technology to deliver more power and better fuel economy at a lower cost. Eaton partners include Kettering University, Ballard Power Systems, and Electricore, Inc.

DOE's hydrogen and fuel cell research and development program has led successful research and development efforts, resulting in more than 300 patents and delivering 30 products to market. At the same time, fuel cell durability has doubled and the cost of fuel cells has dropped 30% since 2008. See the DOE press releases about 3M Company and Eaton Corporation, as well as DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells website.