The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the 2016 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 2 Topics, including magnetocaloric materials development for hydrogen delivery and two technology transfer opportunities (TTO). The first TTO is focused on durable, high activity electrocatalyst with low platinum content and low cost for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell applications. The second TTO is focused on safety sensors for hydrogen infrastructure applications.

  • Magnetocaloric Materials Development: Magnetocaloric materials have great potential to lower the energy consumption and carbon footprint of technologies used in building cooling, refrigeration, and gas liquefaction. The selected project will develop novel magnetocaloric materials that optimize material properties for cooling and liquefaction of hydrogen.
  • Technology Transfer Opportunity: Safety Sensors for Hydrogen Infrastructure Applications: There is an increasing need for safety sensors as hydrogen infrastructure is being built around the world. The selected project will use a unique class of electrochemical sensors created at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to develop low cost electronics packaging that is manufacturable at high volume and will integrate the LANL sensor into a commercial package that can meet the codes and standards for being deployed at a hydrogen fueling station.
  • Technology Transfer Opportunity: Durable, High Activity Electrocatalyst with Low Platinum Content and Low Cost for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Applications: Conventional polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology requires high content of platinum electrocatalyst, which raises manufacturing costs. Researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed an electrocatalyst design that significantly decreases the platinum content of the cathode by an order of magnitude while maintaining cathode performance. The selected project will meet the critical need for core-shell electrocatalyst manufacturing processes for PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (MEA) components and develop a plan to scale-up production of the core-shell nanocatalysts, incorporate those catalysts into MEAs, and test the performance and durability of the MEAs under realistic fuel cell operating conditions.

DOE plans to issue the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) on November 30, 2015. Other related dates and additional information can be found on the SBIR/STTR FOA website.

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.