DOE Selects AIChE to Lead New Recovery and Recycling Consortium

On Mar. 13, 2024, the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced $750 million in funding for 52 projects across 24 states to dramatically reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and reinforce American leadership in the growing hydrogen industry. Among the recipients, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) was selected to lead H2CIRC, a new “recovery and recycling” consortium charged with developing innovative and practical approaches to enable the recovery, recycling, and reuse of materials and components for hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers. This development will be supported by federal funding to be awarded to AIChE for the Hydrogen Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Recycling Consortium. The funding totals $50 million over five years and is being provided by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

Additional DOE funding is being awarded for projects including low-cost, high-throughput electrolyzer manufacturing; electrolyzer component and supply chain development; advanced technology and component development; advanced manufacturing of fuel cell assemblies and stacks; and fuel cell supply chain development.

H2CIRC partners

H2CIRC includes partners across the value chain of electrolyzers and fuel cells: Accelera by Cummins; Delaware State Univ.; General Motors; Heraeus Precious Metals; Johnson Matthey; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Nel Hydrogen; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Plug Power; Chemours Co.; Univ. of Delaware; Univ. of Houston; and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. AIChE and its consortium partners will establish a blueprint across the industry for recycling electrolyzer and fuel cell systems and components, aimed at securing long-term supply chain security and environmental sustainability.

The benefits of RDD&D projects

The DOE’s announcement represents the first phase of implementation of two provisions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which authorizes $1 billion for research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) activities to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen produced via electrolysis; and $500 million for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) of improved processes and technologies for manufacturing and recycling clean hydrogen systems and materials. These projects will directly produce more than 1,500 new jobs, along with thousands of additional jobs indirectly generated through regional economic activity. Additionally, these projects will provide support to 32 disadvantaged communities.

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