Pajarito Powder, LLC is a subcontractor on the U.S. Department of Energy funded project “Novel Bifunctional Electrocatalysts, Supports and Membranes for High Performing and Durable Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells,” led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
The project will demonstrate the feasibility of a fixed gas unitized regenerative fuel cell (URFC) to achieve 50% round trip efficiency utilizing advanced membranes and bifunctional oxygen evolution reaction (OER)/oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts on engineered supports provided by Pajarito Powder.
The effort, led by Dr. Nemanja Danilovic of the prestigious Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is part of a larger strategy of creating novel electrochemical solutions for contemporary energy challenges. Dr Danilovic’s team includes key industrial stakeholders Ballard Power Systems, Proton Onsite/Nel, Pajarito Powder and the University of Washington Center for Solar Energy and Energy Storage.
Pajarito Powder, Chief Technology Officer Dr. Barr Zulevi said, “The development of advanced catalysts that can improve roundtrip electrochemical efficiency for the conversion of electricity into hydrogen and then back into electricity is essential for the development of grid-level energy storage for advanced load-leveling and distributed electricity systems.”
The project is funded by U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) through the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) and is part of the HydroGen program of the Energy Materials Network (EMN).
The mission of EERE is to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy; funding mechanisms through the FCTO enable a large portfolio of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies through applied research, technology development and demonstration projects.
This project fits within the larger DOE H2@Scale that explores the potential for wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States to enable resiliency of the power generation and transmission sectors, while also aligning diverse multi-billion-dollar domestic industries, domestic competitiveness, and job creation.
By producing hydrogen when power generation exceeds load, electrolyzers can reduce curtailment of renewables and contribute to grid stability. Hydrogen produced from existing baseload assets can also be stored, distributed, and used as a fuel for multiple applications.