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Pajarito Powder selected for US$20 million in DOE awards

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,

Pajarito Powder, LLC, a domestic developer and manufacturer of advanced catalysts, an enabling technology used in fuel cells and electrolysers, has been selected for two US$10 million awards by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The funds will be used to increase production and reduce costs of catalysts for lower-cost fuel cells and green hydrogen production.

On the fuel cell project, Pajarito Powder will work with Brookhaven National Laboratory, General Motors Co., Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Strategic Analysis, as well as with national laboratory researchers as part of the Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck Consortium. Community partners include the University of New Mexico (UNM) Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, UNM's STEM-H Center, and the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD).

"Pajarito Powder believes that hydrogen is one of the keys to decarbonising transportation," said CEO and Board Chairman, Thomas J. Stephenson. "With lower-cost catalysts, fuel cells will become commercially viable for larger vehicles that need more energy."

The project will support DOE's goal of enabling domestic, commercial production of fuel cell catalysts and components. The project will scale up production of carbon supports and platinum and platinum alloy catalysts and reduce carbon-supported catalyst costs, paving the way for low-cost, commercial deployment of fuel cells. Fuel cell performance is also expected to improve.

Pajarito Powder will work with Auris Noble and Nel Hydrogen to create an increased supply of catalysts that will dramatically reduce the amount of iridium needed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis.

"This is a very significant development for our company," said Dr. Michele Ostraat, Chief Operating Officer of Pajarito Powder, principal investigator managing both projects. "We're going to staff up, add equipment, install new systems, and accelerate our growth – all to advance the goals we share with DOE. This is a big step in creating a green hydrogen ecosystem in New Mexico."

Pajarito Powder's engineered PEM catalysts reduce the amount of iridium used in green hydrogen production by 14 - 60%, making the supply of this precious metal extend further. It also greatly reduces the cost of green hydrogen production.

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