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QuantumSphere Awards Grant to University of South Florida to Advance Hydrogen Storage in Automotive Fuel Cell Applications

Research will evaluate use of nanoparticles to improve on-board hydrogen storage for transportation industry

SANTA ANA, Calif. – March, 31 2008 – QuantumSphere, Inc., a leading manufacturer of nano metals and alloys for applications in renewable energy, portable power, defense, electronics and other markets demanding advanced materials, today announced that it awarded a grant to Professor Elias Stefanakos and postdoctoral student Sesha Srinivasan of the University of South Florida (USF) to conduct research in the use of nanomaterials in the advancement of hydrogen storage for fuel cell and transportation applications. This marks the second year that QuantumSphere has awarded research grants for the integration of nanomaterials into cutting-edge applications.

“Nanomaterials hold tremendous potential in the practical application of hydrogen as an alternative fuel which could reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. QuantumSphere is reaching out with research grants to help accelerate the use of nanomaterials to further advance hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell technologies,” said Kevin Maloney, CEO of QuantumSphere. “We believe Professor Stefanakos’ and Dr. Srinivasan’s proposal holds exceptional promise in advancing the field of hydrogen storage for fuel cells. His group at the University of South Florida will attempt to make hydrogen fuel cells more practical by improving the ability to store and release hydrogen fuel. Chemical hydrides, as well as high pressure tanks, are commonly used technologies for on-board hydrogen storage.”

The USF team will integrate nanomaterials into chemical hydrides for hydrogen storage devices and evaluate their ability to absorb and release hydrogen.

“QuantumSphere’s patented manufacturing process has enabled the production of advanced nanomaterials with highly desirable qualities that could increase the rate in which hydrogen is released from and absorbed back into these chemical hydrides,” said Stefanakos. “These ultra-pure, highly uniform metals measure less than 50 nanometers in size, and they present unique properties that may advance the use of hydrides to make fuel cells smaller and more practical in automotive applications.”

Stefanakos hopes his group’s research improves the rate at which hydrogen can be compressed and decompressed into a fuel cell storage medium. He will use nanomaterials in an attempt to improve the kinetics of hydrogen’s removal from the storage hydride, and also reduce the temperature of the process. Improvements in both these properties will need to be addressed to meet future guidelines developed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Stefanakos said his research group has been researching hydrogen storage for more than 12 years, and over the last four years, the group has focused mainly on complex hydrates. His group has worked extensively with the U.S. Department of Energy on fuel cell research for several of those years.

Last year, QuantumSphere initiated a call for research grant proposals to partner with universities and sponsor individual or group research through the prototype phase in an effort to accelerate validation and commercialization of these advanced materials in consumer and industrial applications. The award to the University of South Florida is one of two grants awarded by QuantumSphere this year. The second grant was awarded to Iowa State University to conduct research in the use of nanomaterials for anti-microbial purposes. This is the second year QuantumSphere has awarded these grants and the first year they have been awarded to research institutions outside of California.

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