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Alternative Energy Technologies

Hydrogen Fuels

Concerns about air pollution, global warming, and long-term fuel availability have focused international attention on the development of alternative fuels. Hydrogen will be an important part of future energy systems addressing these concerns. Whether processed in a fuel cell or burned in a combustion process, hydrogen represents an exceptionally clean energy carrier. Development is underway on processes that produce hydrogen from methane, water, and other abundant sources.

Hydrogen research at INL draws upon core competence in several engineering and technology areas, including systems engineering, safety and risk assessment, chemical and mechanical engineering, manufacturing and materials, sensors and controls, plasma processing, fuel cell technology, biotechnology engineering, and alternative fuel vehicle fueling infrastructure development. The INL is pursuing development and commercialization of technologies related to production, infrastructure, and utilization of hydrogen fuel. A promising hydrogen production technology is:

INL research in support and infrastructure development includes:

INL research in hydrogen utilization focuses on two practical applications with near-term commercial potential:

  • Demonstration of hydrogen-powered vehicles and related transportation system infrastructure, including hydrogen production, storage, and fueling

  • Demonstration of hydrogen-fueled, small-scale power generation for local (distributed) electricity production.

As the research and development progresses, we will collaborate with private sector partners to conduct demonstration testing of hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the INL fleet, and demonstration testing of prototype hydrogen-fueled distributed electric power stations at INL facilities.

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Thermal Plasma Process

Thermal plasma process for producing hydrogen fuel from methane.

Department of energy

DOE Office of Nuclear Energy
DOE-Idaho Office