Reno, Nevada [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Altair Nanotechnologies, in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas Research Foundation (UNLVRF), announced the consortium has received a $2.5 million Phase III grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the joint development of solar hydrogen generation cells.Under the terms of the multi-year grant, Altairnano will receive $750,000 for collaborative research and development efforts through its subcontractor agreement with UNLVRF beginning October 1, 2005, and continuing through December 2006. “This grant award is timely as the rapid development of alternative energy sources is more necessary than ever for the U.S.,” said Alan J. Gotcher, Altair Nanotechnologies Chief Executive Officer and President. “The consortium’s two-pronged approach, which supports the National Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, is the joint development of a cell for direct hydrogen production from sunlight and water, along with related vehicle refilling stations. We expect this approach to accelerate the commercialization of alternative energy vehicles and resource utilization throughout the state of Nevada and, in due course, the United States.” Under the terms of the grant, UNLVRF, a non-profit affiliate of UNLV, will lead a team of industrial and technology partners to spearhead multiple research and development projects to drive production and commercialization of solar technology-based hydrogen projects. “We are pleased with the close collaboration we have formed with Altairnano,” said Thomas F. Williams, Executive Director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Research Foundation. “They have contributed significantly to the success of the project with their work on electrode coatings, which is a major element in the efficiency of the hydrogen cell design.” Altairnano’s nanocrystalline metal oxide materials are key components to the overall effectiveness of the hybrid cell being developed under Phase II of the grant, which will be completed in December 2005. Altairnano has established a dedicated laboratory for electrode fabrication and characterization. The lab contains state-of-the-art equipment for electrical performance measurements.