Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 3, 2008
HRL Laboratories, LLC, has been awarded a two-year, Phase 2 contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop solid-state hydrogen storage materials that meet or exceed the goals for on-board, reversible hydrogen storage established by the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. FreedomCAR Program.
The current award follows an initial Phase 1 award issued to HRL in 2005 to begin investigations into metal hydride materials, one of the most promising materials under investigation for hydrogen storage in fuel cell-powered vehicles.
"The development of an efficient, cost-effective method for hydrogen storage is a critical enabling technology for hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles," said Ping Liu, Manager of Energy Technologies in HRL's Sensors and Materials Laboratory. "The biggest technical challenge for hydrogen storage is how to store the amount of hydrogen required for a conventional driving range (more than 300 miles) within the vehicular constraints of weight, volume, efficiency, safety, and cost."
HRL is a member of a broad consortium of research-and-development centers called the Metal Hydride Center of Excellence, or MHCoE, comprising 15 universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers coordinated by Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. The consortium was established by the DOE to develop more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will enable the U.S to use less petroleum.
The MHCoE is part of the National Hydrogen Research Initiative and was formed in response to the DOE's "Grand Challenge" solicitation to the research-and-development community to address the major technical barriers to on-board hydrogen storage.
Specifically, the HRL program has focused on hydride destabilization strategies that reduce the thermodynamic constraints of strong metal-hydrogen bonds in light metal hydrides. In the first phase of the program, HRL scientists developed a number of potentially viable materials that could meet the thermal and pressure constraints for hydrogen uptake and release. Additional materials will be investigated in the second phase of the program.
Also in Phase 2, the HRL team will investigate approaches for greatly improving hydrogen reaction and diffusion kinetics by confining hydrides within nanoporous hosts. These unique hosts would provide a confined support structure within which hydrogen uptake and release could occur, significantly increasing the rates of reaction and diffusion.
The Phase 2 research will continue through February of 2010.
HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (http://www.hrl.com) is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial entities.
# # #