U.S. Department of Energy Announces $20 Million to 16 Projects Spearheading Exploration of Geologic Hydrogen

16 Projects Spanning 8 States Set to Receive Funding to Explore Geologic Hydrogen Stimulation and Reservoir Management, Reinforcing President Biden’s Efforts to Build a Clean Hydrogen Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In support of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $20 million for 16 projects across 8 states to accelerate the natural subsurface generation of hydrogen. This energy resource would potentially produce no carbon emissions when burned or used in a fuel cell and will support the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to reduce costs and enable commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen. The teams announced today—from universities, national labs, and businesses—will explore early-stage research and development to advance low-cost, low-emissions hydrogen, which will help create good-paying jobs and new economic opportunities in communities across the nation while also helping meet President Biden’s ambitious climate and decarbonization goals.

This is the first time that the U.S. government has competitively selected teams to research this kind of technology.

“Accelerating the development of low-emissions, clean hydrogen and enabling its widespread deployment is critical to slashing emissions that jeopardize public health and pollute local ecosystems, a key component of President Biden’s plan to tackle the climate crisis,” said ARPA-E Director Evelyn N. Wang. “With funding from ARPA-E, project teams from across the nation will explore the possibility of accelerating the production and extraction of natural hydrogen, transforming our understanding of this critical energy resource while accelerating solutions we need to lower energy costs and increase our nation’s energy security.”

Clean hydrogen, including naturally occurring subsurface hydrogen, allows sustainable reductions in harmful emissions from some of the most energy-intensive sectors of the economy, such as chemical and industrial processes and heavy-duty transportation. By enabling the development of diverse, domestic clean energy pathways across multiple sectors of the economy, clean hydrogen will strengthen American energy independence while simultaneously reduce the impact of energy on the environment.

The 16 teams announced today are set to receive funding through two Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Exploratory Topics on geologic hydrogen. The first Exploratory Topic—Exploratory Topic G: Production of Geologic Hydrogen Through Stimulated Mineralogical Processes—seeks technologies that stimulate hydrogen production from mineral deposits found in the subsurface, including developing our understanding of hydrogen-producing geochemical reactions and how to enhance or control the rate of hydrogen production. The following teams will work toward these efforts:

  • Colorado School of Mines (Golden, CO)
    • Award amount: $1,500,000
  • Eden GeoPower (Somerville, MA)
    • Award amount: $900,000
  • Koloma Labs, (Dublin, OH)
    • Award amount: $900,000
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA)
    • Award amount: $1,240,000
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA)
    • Award amount: 1,000,000
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM)
    • Award amount: $1,300,000
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
    • Award amount: $1,300,000
  • New England Research (White River Junction, VT)
    • Award amount: $1,500,000
  • Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
    • Award amount: $1,620,000
  • 39 Alpha Research (Tempe, AZ)
    • Award amount: $1,569,500

The second—Exploratory Topic H: Subsurface Engineering for Hydrogen Reservoir Management—focuses on technologies relevant to the extraction of geologic hydrogen. The following teams will work toward improvements in subsurface transport methods and engineered containment, reservoir monitoring and/or modeling during production and extraction, as well as assessing the risk of hydrogen reservoir development:

  • Eden GeoPower (Somerville, MA)
    • Award amount: $500,000
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA)
    • Award amount: $2,000,000
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM)
    • Award amount: 1,200,000
  • Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (College Station, TX)
    • Award amount: $1,500,000
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
    • Award amount: $1,000,000
  • University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
    • Award amount: $1,000,000

Access project descriptions for the teams announced today on the ARPA-E website. In addition to these 16 projects, Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Center is also set to receive funding to develop a methodology for Life Cycle Analysis for geologic hydrogen via the Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) model. The GREET model is widely used for assessing the energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, criteria air pollutant emissions, and water consumption of various energy, material, and vehicle technologies. Also, the Inflation Reduction Act specially calls for the GREET model to be the basis for determining GHG emissions of hydrogen production projects for financial incentives.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact clean energy technologies across a wide range of technical areas that are strategic to America's energy security. Learn more about these efforts and ARPA-E's commitment to ensuring the United States continues to lead the world in developing and deploying advanced clean energy technologies.

Selection for award negotiations is not a commitment by DOE to issue an award or provide funding. Before funding is issued, DOE and the applicants will undergo a negotiation process, and DOE may cancel negotiations and rescind the selection for any reason during that time.


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