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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the FY 2014 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase II Release 1 award winners, including two hydrogen and fuel cell projects in Colorado and New Jersey. These awards will help small businesses with promising ideas for clean energy solutions such as hydrogen and fuel cells that could improve manufacturing processes, reduce reliance on foreign oil, and generate electricity from renewable sources.

Composite Technology Development, Inc., of Lafayette, Colorado, is optimizing the cost and performance of composite cylinders for hydrogen storage using graded construction for composite overwrap. State-of-the-art hydrogen storage vessels for fuel cell electric vehicles are expensive to manufacture because of high carbon fiber costs. This project seeks to reduce the cost of these vessels by 25% by using low-cost carbon fibers in a graded construction of the vessel composite overwrap.

Treadstone Technologies, Inc., of Princeton, New Jersey, is developing novel structured metal bipolar plates for low cost manufacturing. Performance and cost targets of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been revised to enhance commercialization for transportation applications. The implementation of this project will reduce PEMFC costs to meet these revised technical and performance targets.