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Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Managed by the University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Berkeley Lab's energy efficiency innovations have contributed more than $484B to the U.S. economy and we are delighted to partner with small businesses to solve some of their most pressing challenges across the areas of buildings, bio-energy, advanced manufacturing, vehicles, fuel cells and geothermal research and technologies. Strategically located in the Bay Area ecosystem of innovation, Berkeley Lab creates 12,000 jobs and contributed $1.6B to the US economy annually.

Capabilities

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office seeks to enable widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies through applied research, technology development and demonstration, and efforts to overcome institutional and market challenges. Berkeley Lab collaborates on fuel cell projects with other national laboratories, academia, and industry; providing modeling and diagnostic support on fuel-cell durability aspects and issues, manufacturing-related diagnostics, membrane-electrode-assembly integration, and characterization and synthesis of next-generation materials, including nanoframe catalysts and alkaline membranes.

Berkeley Lab conducts research on polymer-electrolyte fuel cells and related hydrogen technologies, ranging from understanding transport and related phenomena to energy analysis to hydrogen and fuel-cell electrode materials to hydrogen generation through biological and photoelectrochemical means. Key contributions focus on mathematical modeling and analysis, total-cost-of-ownership analysis, advanced diagnostics, and materials discovery. For example, partner with Berkeley Lab to:

  • develop a working continuum mathematical simulation of its cell.
  • acquire access to the Advanced Light Source to conduct preliminary investigations into structure/function relationships.
  • benchmark and characterize its photoelectrochemical or hydrogen-storage material
  • gain access to the Lab’s advanced suite of diagnostic equipment to characterize mechanical and electrochemical properties of its developed ion-conducting polymers.

Expertise and Techniques

Berkeley Lab has deep experience in utilizing and developing diagnostics for fuel-cell phenomena, including:

  • transport-property determination
  • polymer characterization, including ionomer thin films, in-situ verification with a focus on multiphase flow and water movement
  • benchmarking photoelectrochemical hydrogen production cells and hydrogen storage materials
  • extensive small-angle scattering at the Advanced Light Source
  • diagnostics at the Molecular Foundry, including advanced microscopies

Facilities

Berkeley Lab also houses the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis.

Berkeley Lab also is home to the following User Facilities, operated by the Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Additional Information

Photo of a plastic and metal tool that helps with fuel-cell diagnostics.
Photo of a scientist to the left with his hands in a glovebox. To the right of the photo shows measurements and a sample of what is in the glovebox.