The goal of the DOE Hydrogen Storage Program is to enable the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies through the development of advanced hydrogen storage technologies that meet the onboard storage demands. Commercial fuel cell electric vehicles are being released today that use high-pressure 700 bar hydrogen storage onboard, and the hydrogen fuel infrastructure is being installed to support fast fueling of 700 bar onboard hydrogen storage. The high-pressure tanks are significantly more expensive, larger and heavier than conventional gasoline or diesel fuel tanks. Additionally high pressure delivery to the vehicle adds significantly to the cost of fuel and creates reliability issues at the station. Materials-based storage offers an opportunity to enable storage at high density in a compact container at lower pressures, providing the potential to decrease the cost of the onboard hydrogen storage system and the fueling infrastructure.
The HyMARC national laboratory core team, composed of Sandia (SNL) - lead, Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL), is tasked with carrying out foundational research to understand the interaction of hydrogen with materials in relation to the formation and release of hydrogen from hydrogen storage materials. This effort includes the development of computational material design tools, synthetic and characterization methodologies, and online databases of hydrogen storage materials properties and computational data that will accelerate materials discovery and development for on-board hydrogen storage applications. Individual materials development projects are selected to work with the national laboratory core team to apply the tools and accelerate the development of materials tailored to meet the needs for transportation hydrogen storage applications.