The award is part of DOE’s recent announcement of awarding USD 540 million for university- and national laboratory-led research into clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing to transform energy production and cut emissions.
The research will provide greater insight into the variety of surface characteristics that promote dissociation and recombination of hydrogen on a material surface and the behavior of subsurface hydrogen species. The objective is to provide an in-depth analysis of the interactions between MXenes, a two-dimensional ceramic material, and hydrogen, as well as the influence of external stimuli to fine-tune this interaction.
Patrick Ward, Principal Scientist at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), said: “Utilizing a theory-guided experimental approach, we can systematically evaluate the nature and mechanistic behavior behind the interactions of hydrogen with these materials. By combining our knowledge of the basic influential surface and subsurface features, which dominate the hydrogen interaction behavior with induced behaviors from external stimuli, a cohesive and complete perspective can be obtained. It is through expansion of our fundamental understanding of the physical world that led to great advances in technology. We have assembled an extraordinary team, which is determined to accomplish this.”
This SRNL-led fundamental research supports underpinning aspects of the three DOE Energy Earthshots, initiatives to set goals for improvements in clean-energy technologies. This research is particularly suited for addressing the Hydrogen Shot initiative, which seeks to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade (‘1 1 1’) and unlock new markets for hydrogen.