PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory technologies get boost toward market

PNNL’s Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System uses concentrated solar power to convert natural gas into more valuable fuels, including hydrogen for fuel cell cars.
PNNL’s Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reactor System uses concentrated solar power to convert natural gas into more valuable fuels, including hydrogen for fuel cell cars. Courtesy PNNL

A dozen clean energy technologies developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have received a boost to make the jump from laboratory to commercial use.

The Department of Energy has awarded PNNL in Richland about $4.4 million of a total $12 million given to national laboratories from the Technology Commercialization Fund of DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.

Matching support will be provided by PNNL’s commercial partners on the projects or from its technology licensing income.

PNNL’s winning projects, all nearing commercialization, include:

▪  A solar system that converts natural gas into hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.

▪  Making fertilizer from coal fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.

▪  Self-powered acoustic fish-tracking tags for evaluating fish passage at dams.

▪  Material manufacturing techniques to make more durable, longer-lasting components for dams.

▪  A method to join aluminum parts made of different thicknesses and alloys for car manufacturing.

▪  A highly conductive copper composite made with a new manufacturing process for use in high-powered electric motors.

▪  Computational prediction tools to improve power grid operations.

▪  A kilowatt-scale vanadium flow battery using an enhanced electrolyte for renewable energy storage.

▪  Electrolytes for rechargeable lithium batteries.

▪  Seals for membranes used to convert natural gas to syngas.

▪  A protective coating for solid oxide fuel cells.

▪  Seals for solid oxide fuel cells.

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