Engelhard Corporation, a surface and materials science company, has been named a recipient of a Department of Energy (DOE) award to fund research in advanced fuel cell technology for vehicles, buildings and other applications. Engelhard, its subcontractors and suppliers will receive an estimated US$5 million over five years to develop new technology to recover and recycle precious metals from fuel cell systems.Iselin, New Jersey – September 5, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The DOE award will support the company’s additional efforts to develop technology and services that address the entire life cycle of a fuel cell. “We are excited to receive this award from the Department of Energy and to be recognized as a leader in fuel cell technology,” said Terry Poles, Engelhard’s director of fuel cells. “The fuel cell holds great promise as a clean, efficient source of energy, but significant technical and cost barriers must be overcome. This award will help us remove one of these barriers.” Precious metals, such as platinum, are used in fuel cell systems to produce hydrogen and to generate electricity. Because of the high cost of precious metals, it is critical to fuel cell economics that the platinum and other metals be recycled. Engelhard researchers will work to develop and demonstrate an economically viable process to recover and recycle precious metals used in fuel cell reformers and stacks. Engelhard is one of 13 firms and educational institutions that will receive a total of $75 million from the DOE as part of the agency’s commitment to the research, development and validation of hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies. DOE’s efforts in fuel cell research primarily focus on overcoming technical barriers to commercialization, including durability, high costs, heat utilization and catalyst development.