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Fossil Energy

DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is working to demonstrate low-cost, novel, and advanced hydrogen production, delivery, storage, and utilization technologies from coal by 2015. These technologies include advanced shift, separation and purification technologies, such as membrane reactors and separation, process intensification, optimal synthesis gas-derived liquid for distributed reforming, evaluation of hydrogen-natural gas mixtures for delivery and utilization, and novel materials for hydrogen storage. Integration of these technology modules into advanced coal power plants will allow production of affordable hydrogen from domestic fossil energy with essentially zero air emissions. For more information about FE projects, visit the database of clean fuels R&D projects.

Hydrogen from Natural Gas

FE is developing new technologies that lower the cost of producing hydrogen from natural gas in ways that permit capture of associated carbon dioxide. One technology, membrane devices, may simplify the process for producing hydrogen from natural gas and separating it by combining multiple chemical processes into a single step to lower costs and increase efficiencies.

Hydrogen from Coal

America's abundant coal resources offer an attractive mid-term option for producing the large quantities of hydrogen that will be required to fuel the nation's energy needs. Initially, hydrogen will be produced in coal gasification facilities capable of co-producing electric power and other high-value fuels and chemicals.

  • Hydrogen from Coal R&D
    Hydrogen can be produced from coal-derived synthesis gas, but to reduce costs, novel and advanced technology must be developed in all phases of the coal gasification through hydrogen separation phases. For more information, refer to the Hydrogen from Coal Program: Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan.

  • DOE's FutureGen Initiative is $1 billion, 10-year demonstration project to build and operate the world's first coal-based, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant.

Hydrogen Delivery

R&D is focused on evaluating optimal hydrogen-natural gas mixtures and effects on metallurgy, and hydrogen-natural gas mixture separations devices.

Hydrogen Storage and Utilization

Advanced materials for hydrogen storage and evaluation of hydrogen-natural gas mixtures used in advanced internal combustion engines will be evaluated.

Program Contact:

Lowell Miller
Office of Fossil Energy (FE-24)
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585