The Energy Department is putting up $39 million to support research into hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
DOE says the research should address key early-stage technical challenges for fuel cells and for hydrogen fuel production, delivery, and storage related to hydrogen infrastructure. In a release, the department says hydrogen and fuel cells "can enable affordable and reliable energy that enhances economic growth and energy security."
Among the anticipated research and development topics is ElectroCat. The process employs a platinum-free oxygen reduction electrocatalyst and electrode enabling cost-competitive polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Current competing state-of-the-art fuel cell systems rely on platinum-based catalysts that make up nearly 50 percent of the total fuel cell cost. Successful replacement of the precious metal would significantly reduce the cost of fuel cell manufacture.
Another research topic is H2@Scale, which explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and use. Teams will examine integrated energy production, hydrogen fueling, electrolyzer manufacturing and breakthrough infrastructure. The DOE anticipates successful implementation of the technology will produce multibillion dollar domestic industries, domestic competitiveness, and job creation.
Within fuel cell research, the department is seeking research into non-polyfluorosulfonic acid and reversible fuel cells. Research and development in these categories is intended to increase performance and durability while meeting cost targets.
Concept papers are due May 7 and the deadline for full applications us June 12. More information, application requirements, and instructions can be found on the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange website.