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January 2012

DOE Awards PNNL $2 Million for Innovative Hydrogen Storage Technology in Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory up to $2.1 million for a 3-year project that will advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles. PNNL, in collaboration with Ford Motor Company, Lincoln Composites, Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. and AOC Inc., will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will focus on improving carbon fiber composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. Through these advances, the team expects to lower the cost of manufacturing high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels by more than a third relative to current projections.

This investment in advanced fuel cell technology research is aimed at helping domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream market. As part of DOE's portfolio of zero-emission electric vehicle technologies that reduce dependence on foreign oil, the innovations achieved through these projects will address technical barriers to storing hydrogen onboard fuel cell electric vehicles. The research may also advance energy storage applications that could enable more efficient use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

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