Area Development
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded funding for a research project on lowering the cost of fuel cells to Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Newsday reports that the goal of the project is to speed the introduction of fuel cells as commercially viable sources of electricity. Currently, fuel cells produce power by combining and oxidant and a fuel, in most cases oxygen and hydrogen, which is a cost-prohibitive combination. "Today, most of them are using pure hydrogen," says Jim Misewich, an associate lab director at Brookhaven, quoted in Newsday. "We could develop ways to use a more wide variety of fuels." Being able to use fuels other than hydrogen would bring down the cost and make fuel cells more practical for commercial use. The project will cost approximately $3.8 million and will begin this year with $400,000 from DOE. According to Newsday, Brookhaven Lab is also slated to receive $25 million from the federal government and $2.5 million from New York state for additional alternative energy research.