Materia receives $2m grant for carbon fibre reduction in hydrogen storage tanks

Video: An introduction to fuel cell technology and its potential to supply homes, industries and vehicles with sustainable energy (US Department of Energy).

"Reducing the amount of carbon fibre required in hydrogen tanks will substantially lower manufacturing costs and hasten market adoption of fuel cell-based cars, buses, and trucks," states Dr. Michael A. Giardello, President, CEO and CTO, of California-based Materia.

"Proxima™-based composites exhibit fracture toughness and fatigue performance superior to that of current state-of-the-art thermosets," reports Dr. Brian Edgecombe, Materia's Director of Materials R&D.

Edgecombe expects hydrogen tanks to be one of many industrial applications which could benefit from the resin's properties.

Proxima, a thermoset resin for glass and carbon fibre reinforced composites, is enabled by the Grubbs Catalyst™ technology. This Nobel Prize-winning olefin metathesis catalyst technology enables chemical compounds to be synthesised with greater efficiency, under less stringent reaction conditions, and with reduced by-products and hazardous waste.

Advancing hydrogen storage technology

The Materia grant is one of 6 projects awarded a total of $7 million by the DOE this month. 

Another goes to PPG Industries of Greensboro, North Carolina, which will receive $1.2 million to demonstrate a high strength glass fibre that is stronger than the carbon fibres used today at half of the cost.

The 6 projects selected by the DOE are aimed at developing lightweight, compact and inexpensive hydrogen storage systems. These advances in hydrogen storage are critical to the widespread commercialisation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.