Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the first phase of the H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator, a $2.6 million competition to foster innovative concepts for producing clean hydrogen. With these awards, nine winning teams will each receive $10,000 in cash and $50,000 in vouchers for teams to spend at national laboratories to further develop their concepts. 

The winners of the first phase, and their proposed concepts, are:

  • BoMax Hydrogen (Sanford, FL)—a system that integrates light-activated nanoparticles with an enzyme to produce clean hydrogen from sunlight
  • Gold Hydrogen Team (Houston, TX)—a process using dark fermentation to biologically produce hydrogen in spent oil wells 
  • Electro-Active Hydrogen (Knoxville, TN)—a system that integrates solar energy with algal hydrothermal liquefaction and microbial electrolysis to generate clean hydrogen, leveraging the chemical energy from organic matter
  • Evolve Hydrogen Inc. (East Northport, NY)—a novel electrolyzer system design that can use seawater as a feedstock without the need for precious metal materials 
  • H3 (Palo Alto, CA)—a system that integrates high-temperature solid oxide electrolyzers with thermal energy storage to enable continuous hydrogen production even when using intermittent renewable resources
  • Biomass Super Gasifier (Indianapolis, IN)—an indirectly-heated pyrolytic gasification process to convert carbon-based feedstocks into syngas from which hydrogen can be extracted—with the remaining syngas used in a solid oxide fuel cell to generate power to run the system
  • NX Fuels Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI)—a technology that harnesses sunlight to produce hydrogen from seawater using a photoelectrochemical process
  • PAX H2(O) (Richmond, CA)—a technology that could reduce the capital and operating expenses of an electrolysis system by producing clean water using waste heat from the electrolyzer
  • The Hope Group (Lubbock, TX)—in-situ microwave-assisted catalytic heating to crack methane­ and generate hydrogen directly from depleted natural gas reservoirs

The H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is jointly funded by the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office and the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. This prize is one of the American-Made Prizes, a continually growing portfolio of prize programs, from 16 DOE offices, with more than $110 million in committed prizes supporting a wide range of clean energy technology innovations.