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US DoE looks for hydrogen and fuel cell tech

Department of Energy puts US$39 million grant funding on the table for new catalysts, scaled hydrogen infrastructure and membrane technologies

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has unveiled a raft of new funding opportunities for energy technologies, including in sectors like infrastructure, solar power and hydrogen fuel cells.

April 17 saw the DoE make up to US$39 million available in funding to support early-stage research and development (R&D) of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This investment, it said, would be used to address key early-stage technical challenges for fuel cells and for hydrogen fuel production, delivery, and storage related to hydrogen infrastructure.

Three specific areas of R&D were outlined. The first will be for electro-catalysts (ElectroCats) for hydrogen production. In particular the department is looking for platinum-free oxygen reduction electrocatalysts and electrode R&D, which could enable cost-competitive polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, as part of its Energy Materials Network.

The second is in producing hydrogen at scale. This includes subsections on integrated energy production and hydrogen fuelling, including the development of innovative components and the integration of technologies which could enable cost-competitive fuel stations. In addition it will look at new manufacturing techniques for electrolysers, with a view to reducing overall capital costs, as well as any “breakthrough infrastructure R&D,” covering materials and components which could to reduce the cost and footprint of hydrogen fuelling stations.

Finally it will seek ideas for fuel cell membranes based on non-polyfluorosulfonic acid and high-temperature membranes. R&D in this area will focus on addressing critical barriers and increasing the performance and durability of membranes, while meeting cost targets. Other submissions looking at reversible and liquid fuel cell components will also be considered.

Concept papers must be received by May 7, 2018 and full applications will be due June 12, 2018.

More information, application requirements, and instructions can be found here, or on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.


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