The DOE has Announced Plans for Hydrogen Fuel Cell R&D
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched its plans to advance fuel cell truck and hydrogen production. The Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck (M2FCT) and the H2NEW consortia will work to identify ways to make the technologies more durable, efficient, affordable and viable in today’s market. This comes off the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office’s (EERE’s) announcement to invest $100 million into the projects.
The combined intention of the projects is to produce hydrogen in environmentally-friendly ways, and then use that hydrogen as a fuel source.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Colorado) and Idaho National Laboratory will lead this project, and attempt to develop large-scale electrolyzers, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen produced is perfect for hydrogen fuel cells.
Electrolysis has been around since 1800, and a number of methods have been developed. However, it’s not always a cheap endeavor. This consortia will look at how to make the electrolyzers more efficient and cost effective.
Fuel Cell Trucks (FCTs) have the diesel engine replaced with a battery-hydrogen fuel cell hybrid system. The hybrid feature allows for optimal performance in heavy duty applications, with minimized environmental impact. FCTs produce no emissions, only water. Los Alamos (New Mexico) and Lawrence Berkeley (California) National Laboratories will lead the project, focussing on fuel cell durability, performance, and minimizing cost.
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