Familiar, Fresh Faces Join Fuel Cell Research

Challenges in developing fuel cells and using hydrogen as an energy carrier aren’t scaring away researches. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has formed a Center for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Research, which will operate under the leadership of former Plug Power Chief Technology Officer Glenn Eisman.

Troy, New York – September 29, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The center’s studies will focus on fuel cell development, hydrogen generation and storage, electrochemistry, solid state and polymer science, and the application of nano-materials in fuel cell and hydrogen research. According to Eisman, there are fundamental technical issues that must be addressed before fuel cells and hydrogen-related technologies can be considered commercially viable. These include new material solutions to improve fuel cell reliability, efficiency, and cost. “Drawing from existing expertise on campus, the new center for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research will concentrate on fundamental research and address technical issues while working in collaboration with Rensselaer’s recently established Future Energy Systems Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) to help transition next-generation concepts from the lab to commercialization,” Eisman said. RPI students at the institute’s School of Engineering will have the opportunity to participate in research and development activities such as membrane and electrode fabrication, electrochemical testing, materials analysis, and fuel cell and electrolytic device operation. “This new center is a perfect complement to our Future Energy Systems CAT,” said Om Nalamasu, director of the Future Energy Systems CAT and director of Rensselaer’s Center for Integrated Electronics. “Our focus on technology commercialization will reduce the time it takes for ideas generated in the new fuel cell center to move from the lab to the marketplace, help retain and create new jobs in New York state, increase the incentives for energy companies to relocate to New York, and effectively position us to expand our collaborations with the federal government on important energy research initiatives.”
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