Power Electronics

Laboratory Creates Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Research Institute

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently created the Institute for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research (IHFCR) to better address technical issues and to provide solutions for enabling key aspects of the hydrogen economy and broadening the use of fuel cells.

According to Thomas J. Meyer, the Laboratory's Associate Director of Strategic Research, "The IHFCR is an important step for the laboratory. It not only acknowledges our considerable experience in the field, but it also provides a foundation for future success and national leadership in an area of growing importance to the nation's energy future. The Institute will coordinate hydrogen and fuel cell research projects across the laboratory, improve access to some of our unique capabilities and facilities, and enhance the Laboratory's ability to attract high quality entry level and senior staff in the field."

The Institute is a partnership between the Laboratory's Chemistry and Materials Science and Technology divisions. Bill Tumas, group leader of the Laboratory's Actinides, Catalysis and Separation Group, will be the institute director and Ken Stroh, program manager for hydrogen and fuel cell programs, will be the deputy. Institute research will take place in existing facilities.

The Institute will provide an effective forum to bring together, on a project basis, scientists and engineers from across the laboratory to collaborate on cutting-edge research. It also will foster external partnering with other national laboratories, universities and industry. Project coordinators, thrust leaders and staff working on hydrogen or fuel cell-related projects will be members of the Institute. In addition, the Institute will coordinate with researchers activities in related areas such as climate change, carbon sequestration and nuclear energy.

Since the 1970s, laboratory scientists have been responsible for a number of scientific and technical breakthroughs that have contributed to the development of modern fuel cell systems.

The laboratory recently joined with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to create a new national Center for Chemical Hydrogen Storage that will focus on the use of chemical hydrogen compounds for releasing hydrogen spontaneously and controllably at suitable pressures and temperatures, and in amounts consistent with the targeted end use.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by the University of California for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the U.S. Department of Energy and works in partnership with NNSA's Sandia and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories to support NNSA in its mission.

Los Alamos enhances global security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to defense, energy, environment, infrastructure, health and national security concerns.

For more information, visit www.lanl.gov.

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