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Energy Department Awards $11.2 Million for Hydrogen Research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $11,2 million in awards for research aimed at overcoming the scientific challenges associated with the production, storage and use of hydrogen.

"This funding will support transformational scientific research addressing major issues underpinning the hydrogen economy: hydrogen storage, essential for transportation; and catalysts, for hydrogen production, storage and use," Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach said.

DOE's Office of Science selected 13 projects that will focus on fundamental science in support of hydrogen technologies. Universities and national laboratories in 10 states and Washington, DC will conduct the research.

The projects are part of a department-wide, comprehensive, balanced portfolio of basic and applied research, technology development and demonstration projects aimed at significantly advancing President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. DOE selected the new projects through a merit-review, competitive solicitation process and plans to fund additional projects in fiscal year 2008.

The projects will address two priority technical areas:

Novel Materials for Hydrogen Storage (7 projects, $5.6 million over three years)
Both the National Academy of Sciences and DOE have identified hydrogen storage as a key technology for the successful implementation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. A broad range of research in hydrogen storage is covered by these projects, including: complex hydrides; nanostructured and novel materials; theory, modeling and simulation; and state-of-the-art analytical and characterization tools to develop novel storage materials and methods.

Nanoscale Catalysts (6 projects, $5.6 million over three years)
Catalysts play a vital role in hydrogen production, storage and use. Specifically, catalysts are needed for producing hydrogen from water or carbon-containing fuels such as coal and biomass, increasing hydrogen storage kinetics and producing electricity at low cost from hydrogen in fuel cells. Research areas include: innovative synthetic techniques; novel characterization techniques; and theory, modeling and simulation of catalytic pathways.

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