DOE small biz voucher awards include vehicles and fuel cells

The US Department of Energy has awarded $8 million in Small Business Vouchers to 43 businesses, including ten projects aimed at making hydrogen fuel cells cheaper and more efficient, and six projects that will improve vehicle fuel efficiency, including better batteries.

In addition to funding from the DOE, participants in this second round of the SBV project will be working with 12 of the DOE’s national laboratories to accelerate the development of their technologies. For example, Nzyme2HC is paired with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to generate hydrogen for fuel cells using, among other things, industrial waste. The SBV award allows Nzyme2HC to prototype and test the cleaner — and potentially cheaper — hydrogen fuel at NREL.

Vehicle technologies range from improved computer modeling and simulations to fuel innovations. Saratoga Energy is developing a process to manufacture graphite from carbon dioxide to be used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs, while Sylvatex is designing a nanoparticle fuel system to reduce emissions and incorporate renewables in petroleum with assistance from the Argonne National Laboratory.

The SBV project isn’t just for vehicles and related technology; other awards were in the Bioenergy, Buildings, Geothermal, Solar, Water, and Wind categories. Round one of the project launched in March with 33 vouchers totaling $6.7 million awarded. To get a piece of that funding pie in a future round, visit the project’s website to apply. More info will be available there in October 2016.