DOE lends support to natural gas tank research


The U.S. Dept. of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded $30 million to 13 projects to advance natural gas vehicle technologies in its new program titled Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy (MOVE). MOVE projects aim to engineer lightweight, affordable natural gas tanks for vehicles as well as to develop natural gas compressors that can efficiently fuel a natural gas vehicle at home.

Topping the award list is Ford Motor Company, with a $5.5 million award to engineer an adsorbed natural gas storage system utilizing a novel external framework and internal porous materials.

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI; Des Plaines, IL), meanwhile, will be the recipient of two grants: A $1.5 million grant will be used to identify new porous materials for low-pressure gas storage tanks using their computational screening tool. This approach enables the rapid identification of low-cost, high-performance materials that will speed the development of low-pressure natural gas tanks for vehicles. A second, $875,000 grant will be employed to develop a unique low-pressure natural gas storage tank for light-duty vehicles using a thin tailored shell to increase storage capacity while driving down cost. GTI's innovative shell contains valves that can be opened and closed on demand to allow for vehicle refueling, driving, or storage.

Read more