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Low-Noble-Metal-COntent Catalysts/Electrodes for Hydrogen Production by Water…

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Proton Energy Systems, Inc.
10 Technology Drive Wallingford, CT 06492-1955
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Low-Noble-Metal-COntent Catalysts/Electrodes for Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER86531
Award Amount: $1,000,000.00


The economical use of hydrogen as a transportation and stationary power fuel remains a long-term DOE objective. Energy storage applications in Europe such as wind capture and improved biogas conversion efficiency are also driving significant interest in hydrogen production from renewable sources. New and efficient catalytic processes for hydrogen generation are therefore needed to achieve production targets for hydrogen cost. The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is currently the most expensive single component of the cell. n important portion of MEA cost is related to the prices of platinum group metals (PGM), which are high and may rise with demand due to limited natural resources. Based on current noble metal prices, the catalyst represents half of the MEA cost. In the Phase 1 project, Proton OnSite, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), demonstrated feasibility for development of low-noble-metal- content catalysts/electrodes for proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, through design and synthesis of core-shell nanocatalysts and innovative structure integration of catalyst synthesis and electrode fabrication. In Phase II, continued development of the anode formulation will be performed for reproducible and stable electrode fabrication, while a manufacturing study will be performed for the cathode to scale the process developed in Phase 1 to a practical level. We aim to reduce the cathode catalyst content by close to two orders of magnitude for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the anode catalyst by one order of magnitude for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Protons electrolyzers serve a wide variety of applications, including metals processing, chemical manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, hydrogenation, and electrical generator cooling which would benefit from lower cost stacks, a result of the work in this project. This project also enables next generation energy storage solutions through dramatic cost reductions on large scale systems, as well as significant savings in mining energy consumption through reduction in noble metal use by an order of magnitude. The proposed innovation can readily be applied to product platforms that are already in production or in development to specifically address these applications. Protons mission is to move advanced technology PEM products into hydrogen energy applications as those markets emerge in the coming years.

Principal Investigator:

Katherine Ayers

Business Contact:

Stephen Szymanski
Small Business Information at Submission:

Proton Energy Systems
10 Technology Drive Wallingford, CT -

EIN/Tax ID: 061461988
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Brookhaven National Laboratory
2 Center St.
Upton, NY 11973-