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Basic Research

There is a wide gap between today's capabilities for hydrogen production, storage and use and those required for the clean energy future. To be economically competitive with the present fossil fuel economy, the cost of fuel cells must be lowered by a factor of ten or more and the cost of producing hydrogen must be lowered by a factor of four. In addition, the performance and reliability of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies must be improved dramatically. By sponsoring long-term innovative, high-risk/high-payoff basic research, the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program is working to narrow this gap.

Photo of NREL researcher in laboratory, evaluating carbon nanotubes for their hydrogen storage capacity.

Led by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the Office of Science focuses on fundamental research on advanced materials for hydrogen storage, fuel cell components, bio-inspired materials, and solar-energy-based hydrogen production; and modeling, simulation and analysis of key processes and mechanisms.