DOE to Invest $15.3 Million in Hydrogen Storage for Vehicles
August 20, 2008
DOE announced on August 14 that it has selected 10 hydrogen storage research and development projects to receive $15.3 million over the next 5 years, subject to annual appropriations. The projects will investigate novel hydrogen storage materials and efficient methods for regenerating hydrogen storage materials. Most of the projects focus on using either metal hydrides, which store hydrogen in a chemical form, or adsorbents, which collect a film of hydrogen on their surface. For adsorbents to store practical volumes of hydrogen, they must have extremely high surface areas, so investigators will study the use of nanoporous materials (materials with pores on the scale of a billionth of a meter) and carbon materials with high surface areas. Several projects will also attempt to increase the hydrogen binding energies of adsorbents to enable hydrogen storage at room temperature. The goal is to store enough hydrogen to allow hydrogen-fueled vehicles to travel more than 300 miles on a single fill-up, without compromising passenger or trunk space, performance, or cost. Combined with the $3 million applicant cost share, up to $18 million could be invested in these projects. See the DOE press release.
The announcement came during the Washington, D.C., stop of the Hydrogen Road Tour '08, which is visiting 31 cities in 18 states over 13 days. The tour started in Portland, Maine, on August 11 and headed south to Georgia before heading west. The tour arrives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 20 and will stop in Las Vegas, Nevada; Phoenix, Arizona; and Thousand Palms, California, before concluding in Los Angeles, California, on August 23. DOE has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to sponsor the cross-country tour, which features fuel-cell vehicles from General Motors Corporation, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen, as well as the BMW Hydrogen Series 7, which burns hydrogen in an internal combustion engine. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Linde are providing mobile refueling stations and hydrogen fuel for the tour. See the Hydrogen Road Tour '08 Web site.