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Browse Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Marketing Summaries

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies available for licensing from U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and participating research institutions. The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

121 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Suite of Photo-electrochemical Technologies for Hydrogen Production

The primary fuel powering new fuel cell technologies is hydrogen. The market for fuel cells is expected to grow tremendously in the near-term as vehicle manufacturers start mass-production of fuel cell vehicles. As the market for fuel cells grows, so too does demand for hydrogen to supply the fuel cells. The two biggest obstacles in the way of hydrogen production are high cost and storage of product. 

While there are multiple methods of hydrogen production,... read more

06/13/2014
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Improved Semiconductor Electrode for Photo-electrochemistry

Producing hydrogen from clean sources of energy has been one of the major challenges of hydrogen production. While production from fossil fuel processes has been the norm, one of the most promising clean technologies has been hydrogen production through photo-electrochemical (PEC) cells. The three main hurdles of PEC hydrogen production have been efficiency, durability, and cost of production. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that for photo-electrochemical water splitting to be... read more

03/03/2014
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Metal Nitride Catalysts to Enhance Hydrogen Evolution Reactions

This novel and inexpensive composition of cobalt molybdenum nitride offers high catalytic activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) - a critical reaction in a number of growing energy generation and utilization technologies. For example, water electrolysis can transform electrical energy produced by solar cells into chemical fuels that can be more easily stored and transported. HER is one of the two half-reactions in water electrolysis, and the efficiency of catalysts directly... read more

01/10/2014
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Biomass-derived Hydrogen-evolution catalyst and electrode

A simply made, inexpensive combination of biomass and earth-abundant metals has resulted in a durable catalyst for splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel. Biomass comprising protein-rich seeds or nuts of legumes heated in the presence of transition metal salts produced a material that is useful as an electrocatalyst and an electrode. The costs associated with electrolysis, the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen, are no longer dictated by the price per... read more

01/10/2014
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Non-Noble Metal Water Electrolysis Catalysts

This invention comprises an inexpensive catalyst system for water electrolyzers by replacing the noble-metal catalysts that are typically used in electrolyzer systems. A molybdenum-nickel nitride nanosheet catalyst has been found to be very stable.

01/10/2014
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Catalysts for interconversion of CO2H2 and formic acid

Catalyst compounds for the energetically feasible interconversion CO2 plus H2and formic acid are disclosed as are methods for using the catalysts for CO2 capture and H2 release from formic acid.

01/09/2014
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Regeneration of Aluminum Hydride

Alane is one of the most promising solutions to storing hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. This technology provides exceptional improvement in solving the difficult problem of economically preparing the material.

01/09/2014
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Regeneration of Aluminum Hydride

Alane is one of the most promising solutions to storing hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. This technology provides exceptional improvement in solving the difficult problem of economically preparing the material.

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalysts on Carbon Nanoparticles

Carbon nanostructures offer extremely high surface areas and so are attractive candidates to support dispersed catalysts. These nanostructures, however, are not necessarily as conductive as is required for most methods of deposition of noble metal catalysts onto support structures. The inventive catalysts include an atomically thin layer of a transition metal on the carbon nanostructure which is then coated with an atomically thin layer of a catalytically active noble metal. These catalysts... read more

01/09/2014
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Deposition of Contiguous Metal Adlayer on Transition Metal Nanostructures

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. Despite their higher surface area, nanoparticles of platinum are several times less active when catalyzing the oxygen reduction reaction than is bulk platinum. Atomically thin layers of platinum can be formed as contiguous metal adlayers on transition metal nanostructures, such as nanorods, nanowires, and nanobars. These structures exhibit higher catalytic activity per mass of platinum than pure platinum nanoparticles.

01/09/2014
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Synthesis of Metal-Metal Oxide Catalysts and Electrocatalysts

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

01/09/2014
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Regeneration of Aluminum Hydride

Alane is one of the most promising solutions to storing hydrogen for use in hydrogen fuel cells. This technology provides exceptional improvement in solving the difficult problem of economically preparing the material.

01/09/2014
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Thermally efficient PEM fuel cell that runs on ethanol
  • PEM fuel cell with onboard conversion of ethanol into hydrogen fuel
  • Liquid ethanol feedstock eliminates problems with storage and transportation of gaseous hydrogen
  • Control of temperature maximizes selectivity of reformation process and prevents membrane fouling
  • Integrated system enables effective heat management and maximizes fuel cell efficiency
11/05/2013
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Thermally efficient PEM fuel cell that runs on ethanol
  • PEM fuel cell with onboard conversion of ethanol into hydrogen fuel
  • Liquid ethanol feedstock eliminates problems with storage and transportation of gaseous hydrogen
  • Control of temperature maximizes selectivity of reformation process and prevents membrane fouling
  • Integrated system enables effective heat management and maximizes fuel cell efficiency
11/05/2013
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Solar-Thermal Fluid-Wall Reaction Processing

Currently most hydrogen is produced through a process of heating natural gas with water vapor called steam reforming. This process requires energy to heat the gasses and produces greenhouse gases such as CO2 as its byproducts. These conditions confine steam reforming to large industrial plants requiring trucks to transport the hydrogen to users, since most population centers have regulations that prohibit such high levels of CO2.

10/17/2013
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New Configuration and Materials for Scalable Bioelectrochemical System and Microbial Fuel Cells

Current wastewater treatment processes and membrane based desalination technologies are energy intensive due to the power demand for aeration, sludge treatment, and membrane operation. A research team at the University of Colorado led by Zhiyong (Jason) Ren has developed a bioelectrochemical systems (BES) that exhibits much greater energy production than previous systems and functions reliably under large-scale operating conditions.
 

10/17/2013
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Hydrogen Electrochemical Energy Storage Device

The hydrogen fuel cell market is still in the early stages of development.  However, with advances in technology the market and associated fuel cell applications is starting to gain traction. Recently, major vehicle manufacturers have announced production-level hydrogen vehicles as soon as 2015 and the fuel cell market is expected to grow from an estimated $775 million in 2012 to over $14.1 billion by 2022. 

One of the most attractive aspects of hydrogen is that it has a very... read more

10/16/2013
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Fast, Efficient Isothermal Redox to Split Water or Carbon Dioxide using Solar Energy

A University of Colorado research team led by Alan Weimer has developed a technique for a substantially isothermal hercynite cycle, in which the entire reaction cycle is performed isothermally at 1200-1400°C (though the cycle can be performed at temperatures as low as 940°C). Because no significant heating or cooling is required between the respective cycles, the hercynite cycle allows faster, more efficient cycling and less wear on the equipment and materials used for the process.... read more

10/14/2013
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Device for hydrogen separation and method

A device for hydrogen separation has a porous support and hydrogen separation material on the support. The support is prepared by heat treatment of metal microparticles, preferably of iron-based or nickel-based alloys that also include aluminum and/or yttrium. The hydrogen separation material is then deposited on the support. Preferred hydrogen separation materials include metals such as palladium, alloys, platinum, refractory metals, and alloys.

08/02/2013
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Methanol-tolerant cathode catalyst composite for direct methanol fuel cells

A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) having a methanol fuel supply, oxidant supply, and its membrane electrode assembly (MEA) formed of an anode electrode and a cathode electrode with a membrane therebetween, a methanol oxidation catalyst adjacent the anode electrode and the membrane, an oxidant reduction catalyst adjacent the cathode electrode and the membrane, comprises an oxidant reduction catalyst layer of a platinum-chromium alloy so that oxidation at the cathode of methanol that crosses... read more

08/02/2013
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Accurate Detection of Impurities in Hydrogen Fuel at Lower Cost

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have developed two alternative strategies for detecting impurities in the hydrogen used in fuel cells. Both yield highly accurate results and use simpler, less costly equipment.

As the United States gradually establishes a refueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles, lawmakers will adopt standards for impurities in the hydrogen used in these vehicles. Impurities can cause fuel cell performance degradation and catalyst poisoning. Such... read more

07/01/2013
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Photoelectrochemical Semiconductor Surface Fortification via Ion Implantation

Producing hydrogen from clean sources of energy has been one of the major challenges of hydrogen production. While production from fossil fuel processes has been the norm, one of the most promising clean technologies has been hydrogen production through photo-electrochemical (PEC) cells. The three main hurdles of PEC hydrogen production have been efficiency, durability, and cost of production. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that for photo-electrochemical water splitting to be... read more

06/06/2013
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Electrochemical Synthesis of Pd Nanorods and Nanowires on High Surface Area C Supports

Anisotropic growth of palladium nanoparticles on high surface area carbon supports is encouraged by the choice of surface preparation and electrochemical deposition parameters. The resultant nanorods and nanowires have extremely smooth surfaces, improving their catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells, as well as for other reactions. These ultra-smooth surfaces can be used as-grown, or may be subjected to further processing, such as deposition of monolayers of... read more

04/22/2013
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Air-Breathing Fuel Cell Stack
LANL has developed a fuel cell for portable power applications in laptop computers, toys, and other appliances with low-power demand.
04/04/2013
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Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
LANL has developed an intellectual property portfolio in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells that may permit companies to participate in the emerging DMFC market while minimizing R&D risks and expenditures. Our partners gain access to one of the most advanced and experienced direct methanol fuel cell research teams in the world. We invite you to explore the opportunities available through partnering with LANL to remove the final obstacles and bring DMFC technology to market.
04/04/2013
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Hydrogen-Evolving Organic Compounds
A system, that includes a catalyst and organic compound, for storing and releasing hydrogen at or near ambient temperature.
04/04/2013
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Corrosion Test Cell for Biopolar Plate Materials
A corrosion test cell for screening candidate bipolar plate materials for use in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells.
04/04/2013
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Fuel Cell with Metal Screen Flow-Field
The invention provides a simpler and more effective reactant and cooling flow distribution in biopolar plate fuel cells.
04/04/2013
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Metal Aminoboranes

Metal aminoboranes of the formula M(NH.sub.2BH.sub.3).sub.n have been synthesized. Metal aminoboranes are hydrogen storage materials. Metal aminoboranes are also precursors for synthesizing other metal aminoboranes. Metal aminoboranes can be dehydrogenated to form hydrogen and a reaction product. The reaction product can react with hydrogen to form a hydrogen storage material. Metal aminoboranes can be included in a kit.

04/04/2013
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Methods of Conditioning Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Methods for conditioning the membrane electrode assembly of a direct methanol fuel cell ("DMFC") are disclosed. In a first method, an electrical current of polarity opposite to that used in a functioning direct methanol fuel cell is passed through the anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly. In a second method, methanol is supplied to an anode surface of the membrane electrode assembly, allowed to cross over the polymer electrolyte membrane of the membrane electrode... read more

03/28/2013
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Acid-Catalyzed Dehydrogenation of Amine-Boranes

A method of dehydrogenating an amine-borane using an acid-catalyzed reaction. The method generates hydrogen and produces a solid polymeric product. The method of dehydrogenating amine-boranes may be used to generate hydrogen for power generation sources such as fuel cells.

03/28/2013
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High Temperature PEM
Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) have been identified as an attractive electrical power source due to it having a higher efficiency level and being an environmental friendly energy source.  In comparison with other types of fuel cells, PEFCs have a high power density, low weight to power ratio, and utilize a proton exchange membrane (PEM) as its electrolyte.  Some types of membranes that are in use have displayed issues such as reduced conductivity and membranes dehydration at... read more
03/19/2013
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Gas Diffusion Electrodes for Fuel Cells
A unique gas diffusion electrode technique resulting in little to no leftover methanol, therefore increasing the overall effectiveness and performance of fuel cells.
03/12/2013
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Hybrid System for Separating Oxygen from Air

Sandia has developed a portable, oxygen generation system capable of delivering oxygen gas at purities greater than 98 percent and flow rates significantly greater than commercially available systems.

03/12/2013
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Integrated Boiler, Superheater & Decomposer Bayonet for Hydrogen Production
With the growing pressure placed on energy efficiency and reliance on fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy are increasingly important. The primary function can be used for the production of hydrogen but a similar process can be applied to create ammonia and propane production.
03/12/2013
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Nanosegregated Surfaces as Catalysts for Fuel Cells (IN-07-054)

Fuel cells are an important component in the energy industry, but the high cost of producing the platinum catalyst—an essential part of a fuel cell—has historically kept fuel cells from being commercially viable. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a process for creating a “nanosegregated” platinum alloy catalyst with significantly enhanced properties, making it cost-effective and highly attractive for use in fuel cells.

02/11/2013
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Microfluidic Polymer Valves
In a technological breakthrough, Sandia researchers have developed polymer microvalves to allow fluids to be shuttled as easily in microfluidic chips as they are on a laboratory benchtop. The valves are photopatterned, cast-to-shape microscale polymer elements that can be used to isolate electric fields, and, as a consequence, locally isolate electroosmotic or electrophoretic flows. The valves can be actuated by applying pressure to move them inside a microfluidic channel in order to open and... read more
01/15/2013
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Filamentous Carbon Particles for Cleaning Oil Spills

The invention provides methods and apparatus for the creation of carbon filaments used for cleaning oil spills.

Crude oil and other petroleum products can cause severe damage to the environment and wildlife when spilled into the water. Oil is not only transferred by supertanker, but also by underwater pipelines an kept in coastal storage facilities. All of these have the potential to accidentally release crude oil int the ocean and sea. Due to the extreme environmental... read more

10/02/2012
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Method and Apparatus for Three-Dimensional Carbon Fiber Production

UCF researchers have discovered a method for producing three-dimensional carbon fibers. These novel fibers have a surface area approximately two orders of magnitude greater than the surface area of primary fibers.They are composed of original carbon fibers (OCF) with secondary carbon filaments (SCFs) grown thereon. Additional tertiary carbon filaments (TCF) can also be grown from the surface of SCFs, forming a filamentous carbon network with high surface area. The presence of carbon... read more

10/02/2012
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Synthesis of Ionic Liquids

Chemical separation, such as processes producing alkanes from olefins, often requires series of distillation steps that are highly energy intensive.


 

09/22/2012
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Electrolysis – High Temperature – Hydrogen

INL has developed a high-temperature process the utilizes solid oxide fuel cells that are operated in the electrolytic mode. The first process includes combining a high-temperature heat source (e.g. nuclear reactor) with a hydrogen production facility by taking a stream of water and heating it and then splitting the water into hydrogen and oxygen product streams.

A second method uses several loops, including a primary heat loop, intermediate exchange loop, power generation loop, and... read more

08/31/2012
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Membranes – Phosphazene

INL’s new phosphazene membrane technology provides a method for making polydichlorophosphazene using solid state reactants that simplifies previous processes with a “single pot” two-step process. The process eliminates use of chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, reducing the costs of equipment and increasing economies. Polyphosphazene polymers are inorganic in nature and consist of alternating phosphorus and nitrogen atoms with alternating double and single bonds.

Phase one of... read more

08/31/2012
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Directly-irradiated Two-zone Solar Thermochemical Reactor for H2O/CO2 Splitting

Solar Thermochemical Reactor Produces Syngas

A thermochemical reactor has been developed to produce syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide from concentrated solar energy, water, and carbon dioxide. The solar reactor efficiently produces affordable hydrogen that can be used directly as fuel. The reactor features dual zones for the simultaneous reduction and oxidation through the continuous cycling of metal oxide to split water and carbon dioxide. The physical contact area... read more

08/07/2012
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Platinum- and Platinum Alloy-Coated Palladium and Palladium Alloy Particles and Uses Thereof

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be used... read more

07/02/2012
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Activated Aluminum Hydride Hydrogen Storage Compositions

Aluminum hydride is the best known alane and has been known for over 60 years. It is potentially a very attractive medium for onboard automotive hydrogen storage, since it contains 10 wt.% hydrogen with a high volumetric density of hydrogen. Pure aluminum hydride requires heating to about 150°C before it desorbs significant hydrogen. Doping it with alkali metal hydrides reduces the desorption temperature, but the dopants limit the hydrogen storage capacity in proportion to the amount... read more

06/29/2012
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Nucleation of Ultrathin, Continuous, Conformal Metal Films Using Atomic Layer Deposition and Applications as Fuel Cell Catalysts
A research team at the University of Colorado at Boulder led by Steven George has developed a method to prepare a conformal thin film of platinum or one of its alloys onto a substrate, and more particularly to reduce the cost associated with depositing platinum as a catalyst in a fuel cell.
05/23/2012
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Highly Efficient, Scalable Microbial Fuel Cell

With present day environmental and energy concerns rising, the development of environmentally friendly energy sources is quickly becoming a top priority. One group of alternative energy sources that show great potential to meet future energy demands are bioelectrochemical systems (BES) or microbial fuel cells (MFC), which can be used to both treat waste water and produce energy. Current wastewater treatment processes are energy-intensive due to the power demand for aeration, sludge... read more

03/28/2012
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Involatile Protic Electrolytes and Ionic Acids for Fuel Cells and other Applications
Currently, there is a surge in interest in fuel cell research, as companies across the globe race to take advantage of the high energy capacity that fuel cells provide in comparison to other portable electrochemical systems. Many approaches to fuel cell technology use strong acid electrolytes. Such systems suffer from corrosion problems, which limit their functional life. Despite significant research in the area, there remains a need for higher-performance proton carriers for use in fuel cells.
03/13/2012
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Nanojunction Sensors for the Detection of chemical and Biological Species
Commercial applications of nanotechnology require reliable and cost-effective methods to mass-fabricate various nanostructured materials and devices. Atomic-scale contacts between metal electrodes have been created mechanically by breaking a fine metal wire and by separating two metal electrodes in contact. The breaking and separating are usually controlled by an apparatus involving stepping motor or piezoelectric transducer. The contacts fabricated by the mechanical methods cannot be removed... read more
03/13/2012
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Polyanionic Polymers with High Alkali-Ion Conductivity and Wide Electrochemical Windows
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for high-output, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density solid state batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, consistency, wide electrochemical window, and good adherence to electrode surfaces. Very few electrolytes have been... read more
03/13/2012
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Environmentally Benign Electrolytes With Wide Electrochemical Windows
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for safe, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density solid state batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, consistency, wide electrochemical window, and good adherence to electrode surfaces. Very few electrolytes have been... read more
03/13/2012
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Wide Electrochemical Window Solvents
Typical electrolyte solvents for use in liquid or polymer electrolyte solutions include alkyl ethers and alkene carbonates. These solvents are used to dissolve electrolyte solutes and/or rubberizing polymer additives to form electrolyte solutions which may be used in electrochemical devices. However, these materials have significant disadvantages. Ethers are volatile and have low dielectric constants, while carbonates are unstable around alkali metals and have high melting points.
03/13/2012
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Fabrication of Robust Nanoporous Polymer Films with Cocontinuous Structures

Nanofiltration Membrane for Ultrafiltration, Gas Separation and Liquid Separation

The separation membrane has high throughput, and can be used in separation and purification of gas and/or liquid substances. Due to its high strength, the polymer nanofiltration membrane can be used as a high surface area catalyst support or as a proton exchange membrane in fuel cell applications. The membrane demonstrated good separation of ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen. The polymer membrane is not... read more

03/13/2012
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Customizable Fuel Processor Technology Benefits Fuel Cell Power Industry (ANL-IN-00-030)

Fuel cells work by using a highly efficient electrochemical oxidation process to convert the chemical energy in hydrogen to electric power and heat. Because hydrogen does not occur freely in nature, it must be produced from water or hydrogen-rich fuels. The energy for the hydrogen-production reaction is derived from the fuel or a renewable source (e.g., wind, solar, geothermal). The challenge is to develop a fuel processor that is effective, efficient, and marketable. Argonne National... read more

02/07/2012
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Continuous Sustainable Power Supply

The Naval Research Laboratory's benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) is a non-depletable power supply for marine-deployed applications. The BMFC oxidizes organic matter in the marine sediment with the oxygen available in the surrounding water. BMFC makes an ideal power source for continual and remote sensor operations.

02/03/2012
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Combined Electric Machine and Current Source Inverter Drive System
This technology is a drive system that includes a permanent magnet-less (PM-L) electric motor combined with a current source inverter (CSI). This integration of these two ORNL technologies opens a new chapter for component function integration, instead of traditional integration by simply placing separate motor and inverter components in the same housing.
10/27/2011
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Process for Preparing Palladium Alloy Composite Membranes for Use in Hydrogen Separation, Palladium Alloy Composite Membranes and Products Incorporating or Made from the Membranes
This invention and the subsequent patent applications describe a method for producing Palladium alloy composite membranes that are useful in applications that involve the need to separate hydrogen from a gas mixture.
10/06/2011
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Acidic Ion Exchange Membrane
In this invention we report the synthesis of a copolymer of vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA) and vinyl zirconium phosphorous (VZP) acid has been achieved for the production of ion exchange membranes. 
10/06/2011
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Using Ionic Liquids to Make Titanium Dioxide Nanotubes
Since self-organized TiO2 nanotube (NT) arrays were first reported in 1999, there has been increasing research interest due to their comparably larger surface area, chemical stability, biocompatibility and the ability to provide an excellent electron percolation pathway for vectoral charge transfer between interfaces. The most commonly used fabrication method is anodization of titanium metal in aqueous or organic polarized electrolytes baths containing fluoride species such as NH4F, HF, or NaF.... read more
10/04/2011
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Real Space Mapping of Oxygen Vacancy Diffusion and Electrochemical Transformations by Hysteretic Current Reversal Curve Measurements
Electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems based on solid–gas and solid–liquid reactions and local bias-induced transformations are a vital component of future energy and information technologies. Development of high- energy and power-density materials necessitates understanding the nanoscale mechanisms involved in secondary batteries, fuel cell and air-battery operation. These mechanisms include the interplay between interfacial electrochemical reactions, oxygen vacancy... read more
10/04/2011
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Method of Production of Pure Hydrogen Near Room Temperature From Ultra High Capacity Hydride Materials
This is a cost-effective method for the production of pure hydrogen gas from ultra high capacity hydride solid materials.
09/22/2011
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Nanocrystalline Separation Membrane for Improved Hydrogen Flux

A new method has been developed using a new processing technique that modifies perovskite materials to improve conductivity by altering the microstructure without changing the ratio of the chemical constituents.  The result is a nanocrystalline material that exhibits an increase in weight loss over similar materials made under standard bulk oxide synthesis.  The enhanced oxygen loss translates into an increase in the number of electron charge carriers and elevated electronic... read more

07/14/2011
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High Capacity Hydrogen Storage Nanocomposite

Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Hydrogen Research Center have developed new processes to add metal hydrides to nanocarbon structures to yield high capacity hydrogen storage materials.  Testing of these materials has shown that hyrdogen can be efficiently absorbed and released in multiple cycles and in significant quantities.  Processes to add Lithium Hydride to Fullerenes have resulted in structures that can retain and release significant... read more

06/21/2011
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Nanolipoprotein Particles for Hydrogen Production

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed a method using nanolipoprotein particles (NLP) to solubilize and isolate membrane bound hydrogenases for the biological production of hydrogen.

Hydrogen is a renewable energy carrier that has the potential to replace fossil fuels in our economy. The majority of hydrogen produced today is from natural gas, heavy oils, and coal. The Department of Energy Hydrogen Program technical plan calls for the development and commercialization of... read more

06/02/2011
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High Pressure Hydrogen Storage in Carbon Nanotubes

Hydrogen storage for transportation is one of the most important problems faced in implementing a “hydrogen economy”. Hydrogen can be produced in many ways, but then must be stored for use by fuel cells. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program has set hydrogen storage goals to be achieved by 2015. New technologies and storage materials are required to meet these goals if a hydrogen economy is to be realized. The... read more

05/06/2011
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Underpotential Deposition-Mediated Layer-by-Layer Growth of Thin Films

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass of noble metal (the mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. First a monolayer of a sacrificial base metal such as copper or lead is deposited onto a core particle via underpotential deposition. Then the base metal is replaced by galvanic displacement with the catalytically active more noble... read more

04/22/2011
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High Stability, Self-Protecting Electrocatalyst Particles

During reactions, catalysts may be “poisoned,” dissolve, or corrode, leading to decreased performance and lifetime. The invention addresses this challenge by using an atomically thin layer of catalytically active noble metal to encapsulate a high-stability, self-protecting support particle. The support particles may be nanoparticles containing a component that easily passivates, creating a relatively inert surface layer which inhibits corrosion of the underlying constituents.... read more

04/08/2011
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Platinum-Coated Non-Noble Metal-Noble Metal Core-Shell Electrocatalysts

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass platinum (the platinum mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. The nanoparticles have a core-shell structure and include palladium, gold, and their alloys with other transition metals. The platinum-coated composite can be used as an electrocatalyst in place of pure platinum, for example, in... read more

04/08/2011
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Platinum-Based Electrocatalysts Synthesized by Depositing a Contiguous Adlayer on Carbon Nanostructures

Carbon nanostructures offer extremely high surface areas and so are attractive candidates to support dispersed catalysts. These nanostructures, however, are not necessarily as conductive as is required for most methods of deposition of noble metal catalysts onto support structures. The inventive catalysts include an atomically thin layer of a transition metal on the carbon nanostructure which is then coated with an atomically thin layer of a catalytically active noble metal. These catalysts... read more

04/08/2011
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Hollow Nanoparticles as Active and Durable Catalysts

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a hollow nanoparticle consisting of an atomically thin shell of the metal surrounding a hollow core. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits much higher platinum mass catalytic activity than solid nanoparticle electrocatalysts. These structures can be used in fuel cells and other... read more

04/08/2011
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Platinum- and Platinum Alloy-Coated Palladium and Palladium Alloy Particles and Uses Thereof

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be... read more

04/02/2011
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Hydrogen Absorption Induced Metal Deposition on Palladium and Palladium-Alloy Particles

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also very expensive. The catalytic activity per gram of platinum can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of an atomically thin layer of the metal on a palladium alloy particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction, this structure exhibits up to twenty times the platinum mass catalytic activity of commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst Having Gold Monolayers on Platinum Nanoparticle Cores and Uses Thereof

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating chemical reactions in fuel cells for electric vehicles. During stop-and-go driving, though, it dissolves. This destroys the catalytic activity of the expensive metal. By adding gold overlayers or gold clusters to the platinum catalyst, dissolution is retarded during charge-discharge cycling.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalyst for Alcohol Oxidation at Fuel Cell Anodes

Ethanol and other alcohols are nearly ideal reactants for fuel cells. Unfortunately they are difficult to oxidize, requiring breaking of carbon-carbon bonds. This ternary catalyst consisting of platinum and rhodium on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles effectively splits the carbon-carbon bonds of alcohols at room temperature in acid solutions. Other catalysts require much higher applied voltages to split the bonds, making them impractical for use in a power source such as a fuel... read more

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalysts for Alcohol Oxidation in Fuel Cells

Platinum is an excellent catalyst and electrocatalyst. It is also expensive and vulnerable to poisoning by carbon monoxide in the reaction environment. By supporting platinum on nickel or cobalt tungstate, the amount of platinum necessary to achieve the same catalytic activity for oxidizing alcohol in a fuel cell is reduced, as is the tendency for the platinum to lose its activity during contact with carbon monoxide. Adding about ten percent ruthenium or molybdenum oxide to the binary... read more

04/02/2011
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Palladium-Cobalt Particles As Oxygen-Reduction Electrocatalysts

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. It is also expensive. Palladium-cobalt particles have been used to replace platinum to catalyze this reaction, leading to a much lower cost electrocatalyst.

04/02/2011
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Electrocatalysts having Platinum Monolayers on Palladium, Palladium Alloy, and Gold Alloy Core-Shell Nanoparticles, and Uses Thereof

Platinum is a very good, albeit expensive, electrocatalyst. In order to increase the catalytic activity of an electrocatalyst per mass platinum (the platinum mass activity), nanoparticles of less expensive materials are coated with atomically thin layers of platinum. The nanoparticles have a core-shell structure and include palladium, gold, and their alloys with other transition metals. The platinum-coated composite can be used as an electrocatalyst in place of pure platinum, for example, in... read more

04/02/2011
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Carbon Monoxide Tolerant Electrocatalyst with Low Platinum Loading and a Process for its Preparation

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also easily poisoned by carbon monoxide and very expensive. Tolerance to carbon monoxide can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of clusters or an atomically thin layer of the platinum on a ruthenium particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxidation of fuel at a fuel cell anode, this structure exhibits low platinum loading and elevated tolerance to carbon monoxide when compared to commercially... read more

04/01/2011
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Next-Generation Catalysts for Fuel Cells
Argonne scientists have developed a rational design of catalysts for chemical reactions in fuel cells. The approach could lead to a new generation of electrochemical materials for efficient and clean energy conversion. Today, approximately 30 grams of platinum (Pt) are used to catalyze the electrochemical reaction in a fuel cell. At today’s prices, the cost of this amount of Pt catalyst material is almost $1,600. Argonne’s new, improved catalyst materials could dramatically reduce... read more
03/25/2011
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Ceramic Membranes for Hydrogen/Oxygen Production
In the long term, hydrogen is expected to be the fuel of choice for both the power and transportation industries. Just as conventional cars need gas stations, hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars will need an infrastructure. Hydrogen separation technology is integral to successful fossil-based hydrogen production technologies. Thin, dense composite membranes fabricated from ceramic and hydrogen-transport metal may provide a simple, efficient means for separating hydrogen from fossil-based gas... read more
03/25/2011
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Simplified Synthesis of Bulk Ammonia Borane
Ammonia borane is a stable solid compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen store for fuel cell and other applications. The ability to efficiently and economically manufacture pure ammonia borane in large quantities is important to keeping production costs manageable and for providing light-weight power options for applications ranging from small power to fuel cell vehicles. Ammonia borane is also used as a starting material for new generation of hydrogen storage materials, e.g., metal... read more
03/21/2011
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Water Outlet Control Mechanism for Fuel Cell System Operation in Variable Gravity Environments
Innovators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) have patented a self-regulated water separator that provides centrifugal separation of fuel cell product water from oxidant gas. The innovation uses the flow energy of the fuel cell’s two-phase water and oxidant flow stream, rather than actively controlled electric motors, to augment separation efficiency.
01/04/2011
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Synthesis of High Surface Area Foams for Functional and Structural Applications
A substantially higher surface area is very desirable in porous metallic bulk materials for functional applications such as catalysts, hydrogen storage or high-sensitivity sensors. Traditionally, high surface area functional materials are prepared as powders. The development of this new process made it possible to fabricate them into a useable monolithic structure with high levels of connected, exposed surface areas.
12/16/2010
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Ultrafine Hydrogen Storage Powders
This invention provides for composition and method of making extremely fine powders for storing hydrogen.
12/16/2010
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Treatment of Fuel Process Wastewater Using Fuel Cells
ORNL researchers invented a method using microbial fuel cells for cleansing fuel processing water of hydrocarbon by-products and metal salts. This cost efficient method can be used on-site, so that water does not need to be transported to a treatment facility. It also permits fuel processing water to be safely discharged into the environment or used for other purposes.
12/15/2010
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Ultrastable Superbase-Derived Protic Ionic Liquids
ORNL researchers developed a method of producing a new family of conductive,low-volatility protic ionic liquids (PILs). Protic ionic liquids can be used in protonexchange membrane fuel cells for the transformation of chemical energy to electrical energy. These liquids are also useful as separation materials and solvent systems in chemical reactions.
12/08/2010
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Resonator for Coherent Addition of Semiconductor Laser Arrays and Applications for a Solar Pumped Laser Array
ORNL inventors designed a scalable V-shaped resonator for coherent addition of semiconductor laser arrays. A V-shaped external Talbot cavity offers a solution for the broad-area laser-diode-array coherent-beam combination. In this design, narrow line width and high output power from the laser array have been achieved without using the spatial filter. This technology is scalable to broad-area laser-diode stacked arrays.
12/08/2010
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Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Preparation of Noble Metal Catalysts
Organic pollutants in wastewater streams and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere have been increasing over the recent decades. Currently, semiconductor photocatalysts such as Titanium Oxide (TiO2), are used to minimize the effects of environmental pollution by detoxifying harmful organic materials. These photocatalysts are activated by UV light and break bonds in the contaminant to make it non-toxic. TiO2 provides many benefits in use, as it is low cost, non-toxic, and has the ability... read more
12/06/2010
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Improving Costs and Efficiency of PEM Fuel Cell Vehicles by Modifying the Surface of Stainless Steel Bipolar Plates
Fuel cell vehicles have the potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower emissions. Running the vehicle’s motor on hydrogen rather than gasoline, fuel cell vehicles emit no greenhouse gases – only water and heat. However, fuel cell vehicles are currently too expensive to compete with conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles or even hybrids. Manufacturers must bring down production costs, especially the costs of the fuel cell stack and hydrogen storage, to make... read more
11/05/2010
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Controlling Foaming in Hydrogen Release from Boranes
Ammonia Borane is a compound that has excellent potential as a hydrogen storage material for fuel cell power applications. However, as ammonia borane releases hydrogen during heating, the material expands to 10-100 times the original volume). This expansion complicates processing in fuel cell power applications. This solution controls the amount of foam produced so these compounds can be efficiently used to their fullest chemical potential.
09/22/2010
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Nano Structure Control and Selectivity of Hydrogen Release from Hydrogen Storage
Researchers at PNNL have developed new materials for hydrogen storage applications using nano structure approaches to enhance the properties of conventional hydrogen storage materials used to supply hydrogen to fuel cells.
09/22/2010
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Highly Dispersed Metal Catalyst

Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory have developed a platinum(Pt)catalyst material that exhibits higher dispersion qualities than catalysts used in commercial fuel cells. Better dispersion translates into improved activity indicating new active sites and/or reducing the precious metal usage. Fuel cell electrocatalysts frequently employ 20-50 wt% platinum while less than 0.5 wt% Pt is needed when 100% dispersed. If every platinum atom is active for catalytic reaction rather... read more

09/15/2010
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Bonded Compliant Seal (BCS)
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a high-performance, planar, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of the appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and ceramic components.
09/10/2010
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Gas-Tight Sealing Method for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
The long-term performance of a solid oxide fuel cell is very dependent on the materials and techniques used to hermetically seal the components of the stack. Researchers at PNNL have developed a method for fabricating durable and thermal-mechanically stable seals for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) needing metal-to-metal or metal-to-ceramic joining.
09/10/2010
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Reactive Air Brazing: Method of Joining Ceramic and Metal Parts in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Researchers at PNNL have developed a new, low-cost method for hermetically sealing ceramic and metallic components used in high-temperature electrochemical devices.
09/10/2010
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Oxide-based SOFC Anode Materials
In a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), the anode facilitates the reaction between hydrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon fuels with oxygen ions that permeate the electrolyte from the cathode side of the cell. An ideal anode should have high electrical conductivity and electro-catalytic activity, and further, it would be advantageous if the anode was tolerant to intermittent air exposure and sulfur-containing compounds in hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas.
09/10/2010
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High Performance Mica-based Compressive Seals for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a high-performance, planar, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of the appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and ceramic components. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a method for sealing SOFC components that has shown ultra-low leak rates when applied to hybrid compressive mica seals.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory selected PNNL as... read more
09/10/2010
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Glass Fiber Mesh Method of Joining for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Among the critical issues in designing and fabricating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack are the materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and/or ceramic components. Researchers at PNNL have developed a high-strength seal incorporating metal mesh and glass fibers. The unique method results in a durable, insulating seal that resists the damages commonly brought on by thermal cycling.
09/10/2010
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Glass-Ceramic Seal for Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells
One of the critical issues in designing and fabricating a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is the development of appropriate materials and techniques for hermetically sealing the metal and/or ceramic components. Researchers at PNNL have developed a unique method that results in a stronger, more robust seal that can stand the tests of time.
09/10/2010
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Water-retaining Polymer Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications
While polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer promising power alternatives, the performance of current state-of-the-art PEMs is hindered by water loss when operating at temperatures greater than 60°C, and under low humidity (relative humidity of about 50%). This is a disadvantage, because proton conductivity, which is essential for a functioning fuel cell, is directly related to the ability of the PEM to retain water. Although low temperatures and high humidity are the ideal... read more
07/28/2010
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Fail-Safe, Inexpensive Electrochemical Device Stack Design
Craig Jacobson, Steven Visco, and Lutgard DeJonghe have invented a robust and low cost electrochemical device stack system based on a modified segmented-cell-in-series design. In this invention a number of small cylindrical cell segments are in contact with a planar metallic interconnect sheet that electrically connects one cell segment to the one above and/or below it as well as to the cell segments on the same interconnect sheet. This system allows one or more cells to malfunction without... read more
07/28/2010
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High Quality, Dense Thin Films Using Metal/Metal Alloy Additives
Berkeley Lab researchers Mike Tucker, Grace Lau, and Craig Jacobson have invented a novel layered structure for preparing a high-operating temperature electrochemical cell.
07/28/2010
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Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technologies: Improved Electrode-Electrode Structures for Solid State Electrochemical Devices
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel-efficient and almost non-polluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Inexpensive Production of High Density Thin Ceramic Films on Rigid or Porous Substrates
Steven Visco, Lutgard DeJonghe, and Craig Jacobson have developed a simple, inexpensive method for producing high density, crack-free, thin ceramic films on rigid or porous substrates. Polycrystalline films with thicknesses between 1m and 100 mm are achieved by compressing a ceramic material onto a pre-fired substrate.
07/28/2010
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Low Cost Fabrication of Thin-Film Ceramic Membranes for Nonshrinking Substrates
Certain fuel cell manufacturing specifications require deposition of a thin ceramic membrane onto a substrate that doesn't shrink over it's lifetime. Pre-firing the substrate improves substrate reliability and may lower its cost. This requires a film that has minimal volume change during drying and sintering.
07/28/2010
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Metal Current Collector Protected by Oxide Film
Steven Visco, Craig Jacobson, and Lutgard DeJonghe have designed a cost-efficient, structurally sound technology for current collection and cell-to-cell interconnection of high temperature (>600 C) planar electrochemical devices. Current collection is normally achieved using expensive metal oxides or metals such as platinum or nickel.
07/28/2010
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Method for Making Flat, High Performance Thin Membrane Structures on Porous Substances
Craig Jacobson, Lutgard DeJonghe, and Steven Visco have invented an improved colloidal deposition technique whereby high-quality films of a wide variety of ionic and mixed ionic-electronic conductors can be deposited on highly-porous electrode substrates. They have discovered that in order to fabricate large area, flat, bilayered plates, it is necessary to have exceptionally good homogeneity of substrate and film, as well as similar (well matched) sintering rates and total shrinkage to avoid... read more
07/28/2010
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Novel Support Structure for Ceramic Electrochemical Devices
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel efficient and almost nonpolluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Surface Additives for Enhanced Electrode Performance
Berkeley Lab researchers Lutgard DeJonghe, Steven Visco, and Craig Jacobson have focused their attention on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and related technologies. Fuel cells "burn" hydrogen or hydrocarbons to produce electricity. They are highly fuel-efficient and almost non-polluting, making them an attractive alternative for energy generation. Some solid oxide fuel cells burn hydrocarbons by first converting them to hydrogen, while others burn them directly. The latter are the... read more
07/28/2010
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Nanoporous Metal-Inorganic Materials for Storage and Capture of Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Other Gases
Arlon Hunt and Samuel Mao and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a new class of hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage materials with favorable storage capacities under conditions suitable for on-board vehicle use.
07/28/2010
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Fuel Cell Housing for Rapid Start-Up Auxiliary Power and Gas Separation
Berkeley Lab scientists have designed a fuel cell housing unit that enables rapid thermal cycling of planar SOFCs made of conventional fuel cell materials. The invention makes strides towards enabling the use of SOFCs for portable applications such as auxiliary automotive power or the use of related electrochemical gas separators for single-user oxygen production for health purposes.
07/28/2010
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Durable Joining of Dissimilar Materials
One barrier to solid oxide fuel cell manufacturing is forming robust joints between materials that don’t chemically bond with each other and/or differ greatly in form or particle size, such as metals and ceramics. Berkeley Lab scientists solve this problem by decorating the surface of the more ductile material with particles of the less ductile material via milling and then sinter-bonding this composite to the less ductile materials and/or another material that will sinter with either of... read more
07/28/2010
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Single-step Infiltration for Improved Low Temperature Cathode Performance
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have invented a one-step method for infiltrating porous structures with a continuous, electronically conducting monolayer or several continuous monolayers using only 3-5 weight percent of ceramic. The technique enables high SOFC cathode performance at lower temperatures where less expensive and more pliable metals can replace ceramics for some cells parts.
07/28/2010
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Robust, Multifunctional Joint for Large Scale Power Production Stacks
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a multifunctional joint for metal supported, tubular SOFCs that divides various joint functions so that materials and methods optimizing each function can be chosen without sacrificing space. The functions of the joint include joining neighboring fuel cells in series, sealing cells so that distinct atmospheres don’t interact, providing electrical connections between neighboring cells, and insulating electrodes in the same cell.
07/28/2010
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Fast, Low Cost Method for Manufacturing Porous Structures for Fuel Cells, Catalysts and Filtration
Steve Visco, Craig Jacobson, and Michael Tucker of Berkeley Lab have invented a method for manufacturing porous structures that has advantages over using extractable particulates, pore formers that decompose or burn, tape casting, the replica method, and bubble-forming.
07/28/2010
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Durable Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA)
The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is an essential, yet highly expensive component of any polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The LANL method for manufacturing a durable MEA offers significant cost reductions and performance enhancements necessary for mainstream applications.
07/27/2010
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Adiabatic Fuel Cell Stack
Adiabatic fuel cell stacks are simple, low-cost and reliable. Operating at near-ambient pressure, their efficiency and net power density make them competitive with more complex pressurized systems. This technology has been extensively tested and is ready for immediate commercialization.
07/27/2010
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Metal-Oxo Catalysts for Generating Hydrogen from Water
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed an inexpensive, highly efficient catalyst that can be used in the electrolysis of water to generate H2—a source of clean fuel, a reducing agent for metal ores, and a reactant used to produce hydrochloric acid and other chemicals. The catalyst is a metal-oxo complex in which modified pyridine rings surround an earth-abundant, low cost metal, such as molybdenum. Compared to other molecular catalysts, the Berkeley Lab compound has a longer life,... read more
06/23/2010
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Attrition Resistant Catalyst Materials for Fluid Bed Applications
Researchers at NREL have developed novel steam reforming catalyst materials which have improved resistance to loss of catalyst due to attrition when producing hydrogen from gasified biomass. The catalysts prepared can be used for cracking, reforming, water gas shift and gasification reactions on feedstock in a fluidized bed reactor. This technology decreases attrition of the catalyst by fabricating a ceramic support particle, then coating it with an aqueous solution of a precursor salt of a... read more
06/23/2010