Hexagon Composites receives DOE grant for fuel cell hydrogen storage

The U.S. Department of Energy will provide more than $7 million to advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles; Hexagon's Lincoln Composites business unit will participate.

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Dec. 13 announced that it will provide more than $7 million to advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles. The three-year project will fund four projects in California, Washington and Oregon. Hexagon Composites' business unit, Lincoln Composites (Lincoln, Neb., USA), is nominated to participate in one of the four projects to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems.

In this project, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Lincoln Composites, Ford Motor Co., Toray Carbon Fibers America Inc. (Flower Mount, Texas.) and resin manufacturer AOC Inc. (Collierville, Tenn.), will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will focus on improving carbon fiber composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. Through these advances, the team expects to reduce the cost of manufacturing high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels by more than a third relative to current projections.

According to DOE the project will help reduce the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks for efficient and safe transportation. These investments are a part of DOE's commitment to help domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream market.

Hexagon Composites says its working to set guidelines for the further development of composite containers for the storage of hydrogen under high pressure. Hexagon Composites is a partner in several projects involving the development of customized containers for buses, cars, filling stations and the transport of hydrogen. The participation in the U.S. state hydrogen project will be of great importance to Hexagon in the further development of effective and secure solutions.

Hydrogen requires higher storage pressure than other gases at the same time as it is demanding in terms of materials. Pressure, weight and the need for large storage capacity has presented challenges that require composite materials.