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Science & Engineering Challenges

When you're ready to apply, head over to our application page with full instructions. If you would like additional information on any of the Challenges below, simply email with the Challenge name to request information.

Challenge #2 - Sodium Borohydride Canister Characterization

Developing simple methods to determine the state of sodium borohydride fuel canisters that are sent for recycling to a manufacturer of small fuel cell systems.  Sodium borohydride is the hydrogen storage material and is mixed with water to release the hydrogen.  To recycle the material, its state must be known to process it correctly.  This project would develop methods of detecting important material properties for the recycling process.

Challenge #3 - Historic District Fuel Cell Integration Plan

Develop a demonstration plan that uses fuel cells and other eco-friendly energy sources in the Waverly District in Columbia to provide solutions to fuel consumption, pollution, improvement of infrastructure of energy, transportation and communication systems, and also using these same systems to create jobs and improve our production and protection of plants and trees.  The demonstration plan would be a model for other historical districts.

Challenge #4 - Electrochemical Compressor Catalyst Development - Electrochemical Compressor Catalyst Development

Creation of hydrogen oxidation catalysts for electrochemical hydrogen compression systems that are low-cost and resistant to corrosion at the elevated electrochemical potentials needed to achieve 12,000 psig of hydrogen compression.  A specific approach of interest is the use of nanoscale metal crystals on conductive materials that are oxidation resistant.

Challenge #6 - Development of a Hydrogen Race Car and Racing Business Template

Develop an innovative and affordable racecar design template.  This will include development of the race car design and a business template that provides entrepreneurs and Tier One suppliers the potential to participate, attracts New Economy sponsors, and gives a safe, affordable hydrogen racer whose design components can transfer easily to the automotive show room.

Challenge #7 - Passive Fuel Cell System Prototyping

Construct and test prototype fuel cell systems based on existing patents for fuel cell systems that are low pressure, air-cooled, and require no external humidification.  The project will also identify markets for the fuel cell systems and customers in early fuel cell markets including telecommunications, fork lifts, and back-up power.  Initial customers and strategic partners will also be identified.

Challenge #8 - PBI Development for H2 Compression and Separation

Develop novel PBI polymers capable of increasing hydrogen compression pressures or enhancing hydrogen separation from a mixture and identify novel materials and MEA manufacturing methods that can decrease the initial capital and long-term operating cost of hydrogen pump systems.

Challenge #9 - Power Management for Renewable Regenerative Fuel Cell Systems

Creation of a system for power management that integrates renewable energy from wind and solar energy together with energy storage using a regenerative fuel cell system.  The energy management system will coordinate power inputs from the renewable energy and the grid with power distribution to the loads.  The system will manage the power purchases and power sales to take advantage of variations in pricing during peak power usage that occurs in many countries.