The US Department of Energy (DOE) has pledged more than $13m in funding to advance hydrogen (H2) and fuel cell technologies, in a move that could see the teetering US adoption of H2 as a clean energy finally tip over the edge.

Under the funding, it is hoped that the eight selected projects will leverage key research and accelerate American innovation in areas such as advanced H2 storage and fuel cell performance and durability.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has established two collaborative research syndicates this year which will receive the funding, both featuring core teams of DOE national laboratories with plans in the pipeline to add industry and university partners.

The first, the Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability (FC-PAD), focuses on improving fuel cell performance and durability. The four projects selected through this consortium will work to develop fuel cell durability, lower costs and improve the overall performance of low-platinum group metal electrodes.

The second and newest consortium in DOE’s Energy Materials Network, the Hydrogen Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), is focused on tackling barriers towards the widespread commercialisation of clean energy technologies. The four projects selected under this unit will work to improve on-board automotive H2 storage systems and generally increase storage capacity via lowered costs. 

A spokesperson from the US organisation declared, “By strengthening and facilitating industry access to the unique scientific and technical advanced materials innovation resources available at DOE’s national labs, the network will help bring these materials to market more quickly.”