HydroGEN Supernodes: A New Collaboration Strategy for Advanced Water Splitting Materials Research

March 4, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established five new “supernodes” within the HydroGEN consortium through which multiple lab capability nodes and experts will work synergistically to address a specific water splitting materials problem or research need.

“We developed these supernode collaborations to accelerate the progress of existing HydroGEN seedling projects by carrying out R&D that would benefit the entire water splitting community, advance the R&D of stakeholders through potential new partner projects, and help demonstrate the benefits of synergistic utilization of HydroGEN capabilities,” said HydroGEN Consortium Lead Huyen Dinh.

The supernode collaborations, an innovative framework supported and managed by DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, represent an additional way for researchers to engage with the HydroGEN consortium and accelerate work on current projects. All the existing HydroGEN capabilities, including those that are part of the supernodes, will continue to be accessible through standard HydroGEN technology transfer agreements and DOE funding opportunity announcements.

The five supernodes are summarized here, and more information is available at the linked HydroGEN Data Hub pages:

  1. High-Temperature Electrolysis (HTE) Supernode: Characterizing HTE Electrode Microstructure Evolution. Led by Idaho National Laboratory, the HTE supernode integrates six nodes at five core labs to characterize and predict microstructure evolution of solid oxide electrode materials as a function of electrode materials selection, synthesis methods, and operating conditions.
  2. Low-Temperature Electrolysis (LTE) Supernode: Linking Low Temperature Electrolysis /Hybrid Materials to Electrode Properties to Performance. Led by National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the LTE supernode integrates eight nodes at three labs to probe the connection between materials, electrode composition and processing, and device performance for LTE and hybrid electrolysis.
  3. Oxygen Evolution Reaction (OER) Supernode: Understanding OER Across pH Ranges Through Multiscale, Multi-Theory Modeling. Led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the OER supernode integrates six nodes at three labs to use validated theory across length scales to understand the mechanism of OER going from acid to neutral to alkaline pH.
  4. Photoelectrochemical (PEC) Supernode: Emergent Degradation Mechanisms with Integration and Scale Up of PEC Devices. Led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , the PEC supernode integrates seven nodes at two labs to understand integration issues and emergent degradation mechanisms of PEC cells at relevant scales of 5–50 cm2.
  5. Solar Thermochemical (STCH) Water Splitting Supernode: Develop Atomistic Understanding of the Layered Perovskite Ba4CeMn3O12 and its Polytypes. Led by Sandia National Laboratories, the STCH supernode integrates seven nodes at three labs to understand fundamentally how the unique crystallographic structures found in layered perovskites influence properties critical to favorable thermochemical water splitting material behavior.