National Nuclear Security Administration

Sandia National Laboratories wins TechConnect Innovation Award

June 6, 2016

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Sandia researcher Cy Fujimoto demonstrates his new flexible hydrocarbon polymer electrolyte membrane, which could be a key factor in realizing a hydrogen car.

NNSA’s Sandia National Laboratories received an Innovation Award from global technology outreach and development organization TechConnect for the development of prototype Hydrocarbon Membranes for Energy and Water Electrochemical Systems. Sandia’s submission placed in the top 15 percent of all submitted technologies ranked by TechConnect. The lab will be recognized at the TechConnect National Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., this month.

The Sandia membrane is a key component in a variety of next-generation power generation and energy storage technologies such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, flow batteries, and water electrolysis and purification, and may be key to making hydrogen cars a reality. One of the hurdles of these technologies is the high cost of materials used in such devices. Sandia is developing a low-cost alternative that performs as well or better than traditional membranes.

With low projected manufacturing costs, high ion conductivities, reduced cross-over, chemical and thermal stability in both acidic and alkaline environments, Sandia's membrane may lower the cost of many next-generation energy technologies to improve their competiveness.

Read more about the award at TechConnect, and learn more about Sandia’s membrane technology in this Sandia news release and here.