DSU gets federal funds for hydrogen research

    Will your car one day run on hydrogen instead of gas? Delaware State University received a million dollar federal grant to research ways to make that work.

    The race is on to develop an alternative to the gasoline-burning automobile engine.

    Thanks to a multi-million dollar federal grant, researchers at Delaware State University are in that race and will now be able to push a little harder.

    Delaware’s Congressional Delegation announced Monday in Dover a 3.4 million dollar investment in two of the school’s programs, one of which is research towards the development of a hydrogen storage system for vehicles.

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    “We have to be the Number One country in the world in research and development in green jobs,” said Senator Ted Kaufman, who was joined by Senator Tom Carper and Representative Mike Castle at the DSU campus. “So I couldn’t be more pleased about Delaware State getting this grant.”

    DSU will get just under 1.43 million dollars to develop new hydrogen storage materials and to test them in a hydrogen storage container system.

    Dr. Andrew Goudy, Director of DSU’s Hydrogen Storage Research Center, says the goal is to ultimately have hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles. But in order to do that, you need safe, portable ways to store the hydrogen onboard the vehicle.

    “We believe we’ve found some good, lightweight, inexpensive materials that might be capable of storing enough hydrogen so that you can make it on a 300-mile trip before you have to run out and refuel,” he said.

    Dr. Goudy says the funding will enable them to get more state-of-the-art equipment and fund the handful of students doing the research. He says one of the problems the team will try to solve is finding a way to refuel more quickly.

    “Typically you might wait three minutes before you are filled up at the gasoline station,” he said. “Some of these materials take a lot longer than that so we’re trying to get the times down.”

    Dr. Goudy says the technology is still years, if not decades away.

    But Senator Tom Carper says some automakers are putting a lot of their money and future into hydrogen fuel cells, because that’s where the industry is heading.

    “If they’re right, we’re going to need a lot of places to store hydrogen,” he said. “It’s the most abundant resource that we have and we’re going to need a place to store it. And we need help trying to figure out how to do it and how to do it well. And right here on the cutting edge is Delaware State University that’s going to help lead the way.”

    The delegation also announced DSU will receive two million dollars to conduct a mobile crime scene and evidence tracking pilot project.

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