DoE National Lab Consortium Pushes Clean Hydrogen Tech

The U.S. Department of Energy’s- DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office- HFTO happens to be pleased to underscore a renewed Roll-to-Roll- R2R Consortium of national laboratories so as to develop roll-to-roll processes that will go on to reduce the cost of manufacturing electrolyzers as well as fuel cells. The R2R Consortium goes on to advace efficient and high-throughput, and is teamed with the high-quality manufacturing processes to throttle the domestic manufacturing and also at the same time, reduce cost of durable, high-performance fuel cells along with the electrolyzer systems.

R2R happened to be originally launched as a manufacturing consortium in 2016 by the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the DOE in response to feedback from industry stakeholders looking for broad collaboration on a range of clean energy technologies. Now, due to Bipartisan Infrastructure Law- BIL funds, R2R will go on to focus exclusively on clean hydrogen.

In addition to certain other BIL-funded endeavors to support domestic manufacturing, this consortium represents a key element of the Biden-Harris Administration’s all-of-government approach so as to accelerate the usage of clean hydrogen, as laid out in U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap, coordinated by the Hydrogen Interagency Task Force.

According to the HFTO Deputy Director, Nichole Fitzgerald, clean hydrogen happens to be an essential and highly versatile tool when it comes to achieving the White House’s ambitious climate targets. This consortium will go ahead and work hand-in-hand with DOE’s long-standing push so as to develop clean hydrogen technologies by way of driving U.S. leadership in the cutting-edge manufacturing processes that are required so as to achieve market liftoff.

The R2R Consortium happens to be funded by BIL provisions 815 and 816, dedicated in terms of advancing electrolysis technologies and also improving manufacturing and recycling capabilities for clean hydrogen systems and components, and will complement projects that are selected under HFTO’s funding opportunity. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law- Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis, Manufacturing, and Recycling.

The R2R Consortium is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory- NREL and also includes Argonne National Laboratory- ANL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory- ORNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory- LBNL and Sandia National Laboratories- SNL.

It is well to be noted that the high-throughput manufacturing pertaining to fuel cells and electrolyzers happens to be critical for supporting market acceleration in terms of clean hydrogen technologies. Roll-to-roll manufacturing can go on to reduce costs by way of increasing process efficiency and, at the same time, reducing material waste. However, there are issues related to material synthesis, drying, coating, and quality control that have to be addressed so as to scale up these processes for industry adoption.

The overarching goal is to go ahead and de-risk as well as accelerate U.S. manufacturing of high-performance, durable, and low-cost fuel cells along with the electrolyzers, opined R2R Consortium director and senior scientist at NREL, Scott Mauger. The consortium’s activities will go ahead and focus on understanding the science of the manufacturing processes in order to achieve target rates, yields, along with the product quality.

The fact is that the core labs in the R2R Consortium will go ahead and conduct research, development, and demonstration activities within six topic areas, each of which is led by a lab with current capabilities and expertise focused in that particular area. The first three topics go on to address the manufacturing challenges that are crucial when it comes to the growth of the hydrogen industry, and the later three happen to be cross-cutting activities that will go on to integrate with the research pertaining to the manufacturing challenges:

  • Materials Scale-Up Science- ANL
  • Fabrication Process Science- SNL
  • Quality Control- NREL
  • Characterization- LBNL
  • Advanced Computing- SNL
  • Techno-Economic Analysis- NREL

The consortium is looking forward to supporting industry efforts through cooperative research and development agreement projects, with some more details to be announced in the upcoming months.

An industrial advisory board will also go on to offer guidance on the consortium’s research objectives as well as topics and foster engagement between the broader R2R industry, fuel cell and electrolyzer manufacturers, and even material suppliers.

R2R activities will, at the same time, complement the work of certain other HFTO consortia, like hydrogen from next-generation electrolyzers of water- H2NEW as well as the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck- M2FCT

The R2R Consortium will go on to develop processes as well as pathways to scale up materials along with the components developed by H2NEW as well as the M2FCT and will work closely along with both consortia to make sure of relevant metrics, methods, and protocols used. Together, such efforts will help in the advancement of DOE’s H2@Scale vision as well as the Hydrogen Shot goal of decreasing the cost of clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram by 2031.