WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $4.5 million investment in two projects — led by 3M and the Colorado School of Mines — to lower the cost, improve the durability, and increase the efficiency of next-generation fuel cell systems.

Over the last decade, DOE noted, it has invested in research and development projects that have led to more than 400 patents, 65 pre-commercial technologies, and nearly 40 commercial technologies in the market — positioning the U.S. as a leader in the emerging fuel cell industry.

Building on these efforts, these two new projects will continue research and development work aimed at making cost-effective, high-performing fuel cell membranes that can operate under hotter and drier conditions. The 3M project will receive $3 million to focus on developing fuel cell membranes with improved durability and performance using processes which are easily scalable to commercial size. The Colorado School of Mines will receive $1.5 million to develop advanced hybrid membranes for cutting edge, next-generation fuel cells that are simpler and more affordable and able to operate at higher temperatures.

For more information on DOE’s hydrogen and fuel cells program, visit www.hydrogen.energy.gov.

Publication date: 8/12/2013

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