Energy Materials Network
High performance materials hold the key to innovation in many critical clean energy technologies. But with ambitious national targets to reduce America’s carbon footprint, advanced materials’ traditional 15-20 years-to-market timeframe isn’t keeping pace with America’s goals to achieve a clean energy economy.
Through the Energy Materials Network (EMN), the Energy Department is taking a different approach to materials research and development (R&D) that aims to solve industry’s toughest clean energy materials challenges. EMN’s targeted, growing network of consortia led by the Energy Department’s national labs is better integrating all phases of R&D, from discovery through deployment, and facilitating industry access to its national laboratories’ capabilities, tools, and expertise to accelerate the materials development cycle and enable U.S. manufacturers to deliver innovative, made-in-America products to the world market.
Each EMN consortium will bring together national labs, industry, and academia to focus on specific classes of materials aligned with industry's most pressing challenges related to materials for clean energy technologies. The EMN consortia that have been launched thus far are:
HydroGEN focuses on advanced water splitting materials, initially for the photoelectrochemical, solar thermochemical, and advanced electrolytic hydrogen production pathways.
Hydrogen Materials – Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC) focuses on the thermodynamic and kinetic limitations of storage materials, to create an entirely new capability that will enable accelerated materials development to improve energy storage.
Electrocatalysis Consortium (ElectroCat) is dedicated to finding new ways to replace the platinum group metals currently used in hydrogen fuel cells with inexpensive and more abundant substitutes, such as iron and cobalt.
Lightweight Materials Consortium (LightMat) focuses on materials that can lightweight vehicles to increase fuel efficiency, such as specialized alloys and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composites that can be manufactured on a large scale.
Durable Module Materials Consortium (DuraMat) focuses on durable photovoltaic (PV) module materials to further optimize reliability and capacity of low-cost PV modules.
Caloric Cooling Consortium (CaloriCool™) focuses on development of caloric materials for cooling applications.
Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy Consortium (ChemCatBio) is dedicated to identifying and overcoming catalysis challenges for biomass conversion processes.