You are here

The 'National Hydrogen Storage Project'

In July 2003, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a "Grand Challenge" to the global scientific community for research and development in hydrogen storage with open competition to universities, industry, and national laboratories. This "Grand Challenge" called for the establishment of hydrogen storage Centers of Excellence on Metal Hydrides, Chemical Hydrogen Storage, and Carbon-Based Materials/Sorbents with multiple university, industry, and federal laboratory partners. In addition, independent projects were solicited on new materials and concepts, off-board hydrogen storage systems, and analyses of life-cycle cost, performance, and environmental impact.

The new Centers of Excellence and independent projects, together with existing DOE hydrogen storage efforts, constitute the framework of the National Hydrogen Storage Project. The Secretary of Energy announced the selections for the Hydrogen Storage Grand Challenge on April 27, 2004. The DOE plans to provide $150 million over a five-year period (subject to congressional appropriations) for the National Hydrogen Storage Project. The result of this R&D effort will be the development of hydrogen storage systems capable of meeting the long-term DOE targets. Complementing the Grand Challenge, the DOE Office of Science issued a solicitation in 2004 for basic research to help overcome key hurdles in hydrogen production, storage, and conversion.

The Metal Hydride Center of Excellence targets the development of advanced metal hydride materials including light-weight complex hydrides, destabilized binary hydrides, intermetallic hydrides, modified lithium amides, and other on-board reversible hydrides. This Center involves seven universities, three industrial partners, and six federal laboratories.

The Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence targets three "tiers" of R&D for chemical hydrogen storage: borohydride-water, novel boron chemistry, and innovation beyond boron. This Center involves seven universities, three industrial partners, and two federal laboratories.

The Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence targets breakthrough concepts for storing hydrogen in high-surface-area sorbents such as hybrid carbon nanotubes, aerogels, and nanofibers, as well as metal-organic frameworks and conducting polymers. This Center involves seven universities, one industrial partner, and four federal laboratories.

The National Hydrogen Storage Project also involves independent research projects that explore promising new hydrogen storage materials and concepts, off-board hydrogen storage needed for a hydrogen delivery infrastructure, standardized testing of hydrogen storage properties, and analyses of life-cycle cost, energy efficiency, and environmental impact for hydrogen storage systems. Some of the new materials/concepts being studied are nanostructured materials, amine borane complexes, metal perhydrides, clathrates, lithium nitride, and irradiation activation of materials.

Chart showing the organizational structure of the National Hydrogen Storage Project. Three Centers of Excellence focus on metal hydrides, chemical hydrogen storage, and hydrogen sorption. Basic energy science for hydrogen storage is conducted through the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. Independent projects focus on new materials/processes for on-board storage, compressed/cryogenic and hybrid tanks, and off-board storage systems. Independent projects involving basic science for hydrogen storage are conducted through the DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences. Cross-cutting activities involving material properties and independent testing take place in storage systems analysis and the engineering center of excellence.
1. Coordinated by DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Fuel Cell Technologies
2. Basic science for hydrogen storage conducted through DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences
3. Coordinated with Delivery Program element

Additional DOE hydrogen storage activities include: