DOE Invests In Hydrogen Advancement

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced US$64 million in funding for 18 projects that will support its H2@Scale vision for affordable hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and use. These projects will fuel the next round of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities under H2@Scale’s multi-year initiative to fully realize hydrogen’s benefits across the economy.

H2@Scale is a concept that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors, while also aligning diverse multi-billion dollar domestic industries, domestic competitiveness, and job creation.

According to the DOE, 10 million metric tons of hydrogen are currently produced in the US every year Today, 95% of the hydrogen produced in the US is made by natural gas reforming in large central plants.

Most hydrogen produced in the US is made via steam-methane reforming, a mature production process in which high-temperature steam (1292 to 1832°F [700 to 1000°C]) is used to produce hydrogen from a methane source, such as natural gas. In steam-methane reforming, methane reacts with steam under 43.5 to 406.1 psi (3 to 25 bar) pressure in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a relatively small amount of carbon dioxide.

“Hydrogen has the potential to integrate our nation’s domestic energy resources, add value in industrial and energy-intensive sectors, and broaden technology choices for medium- and heavy-duty transportation,” said US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “These projects will bring us closer to realizing hydrogen’s full potential for a resilient, flexible, and affordable energy system for all Americans.”

The projects will be funded through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Reliable Energy’s (EERE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office. The projects will feature collaborations with EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office on manufacturing reliable and affordable electrolyzers and with EERE’s Vehicle Technologies Office on developing low-cost, high-strength carbon fiber for hydrogen storage tanks. Other areas of focus include identifying durable and cost-effective fuel cell systems and components for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

This investment will also spur demonstrations of large-scale hydrogen utilization at ports and data centers and across industrial sectors like steel making. Additionally, these efforts will help build a comprehensive training program that will lay the foundation for a robust hydrogen and fuel cells workforce in the US.

More information on the specific projects can be found here.