The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the 2015 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 1 Awards, including projects focusing on non-platinum catalysts for fuel cells and detection of contaminants in hydrogen.
DOE's key hydrogen objectives are to reduce the cost of producing and delivering hydrogen to less than $4 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge) to enable fuel cell vehicles to be competitive with gasoline vehicles. Key fuel cell objectives are to reduce fuel cell system cost to $40/kW and improve durability to 5,000 hours (equivalent to 150,000 miles of driving) for automotive fuel cell systems by 2020. In support of these goals, SBIR/STTR subtopics 13c and 14b from the office of Basic Energy Science in the FY15 Phase I Release 1 are focused on both fuel cell systems and hydrogen fuel R&D. Projects selected for negotiation include:
Non-Platinum Group Metal (PGM) Catalysts for Fuel Cells:
- Proton OnSite of Wallingford, Connecticut, will develop a non-precious metal catalyst based on doped cobalt oxides.
- pH Matter, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio, will develop a non-precious metal catalyst based on phosphorus-doped carbon-nitrogen materials.
Both projects will use the novel catalysts to prepare high-performance oxygen electrodes, enabling production of reversible alkaline membrane fuel cells with better performance and lower cost than current technology.
Detection of Contaminants in Hydrogen:
- Southwest Sciences, Inc., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will develop a diode laser sensor for detection of typical impurities found in hydrogen fuel at the refueling station.
- Sustainable Innovations, LLC, of East Hartford, Connecticut, has teamed with the University of Connecticut to develop an innovative multi-channel hydrogen fuel quality monitor to detect multiple hydrogen impurities at the refueling station.
Learn more about the Energy Department's broader efforts to develop affordable, efficient fuel cell and hydrogen technologies on EERE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cells page.