Laboratory licenses hydrogen sensor technology

Mar 02, 2006

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) announced on Feb. 23 that Nuclear Filter Technology (NucFil) has been awarded licenses to manufacture Fiber Optic Hydrogen Sensors. The licenses, together with a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), allow NucFil to work with scientists and engineers at NREL to further develop fiber optic hydrogen sensors that will then be manufactured and integrated into safety sensors for nuclear waste packages, automobiles, industrial plants and anywhere else hydrogen may be present.

Hydrogen is very reactive. It only takes about five percent hydrogen in air and a small spark to ignite. Early detection is essential to safely handling hydrogen.

"We at NREL are very pleased to have NucFil as our licensee to commercialize this technology and more importantly to be partnering with NucFil, under a CRADA to help in reducing the time to market." said Gib Marguth, NREL's Director of Research and Technology Applications. Rich Bolin, the NREL licensing professional on the case added, "Finding the right licensee is sometimes a difficult and time consuming process. It is great that we have been able to transfer NREL technology to just the right company that happens to be only a few minutes away from the lab."

Roland Pitts, a co-inventor on the licensed technology and principal investigator for NREL under the collaborative agreement said, "We are particularly pleased to be able to work directly with the engineering staff of NucFil because of their proven track record at commercialization of related technology, and the entrepreneurial leadership from their CEO Gil Brassell. Close coupling with our industry partner is often the key to success.

Gil Brassell, a materials scientist and CEO of NucFil responded by adding "NREL's outstanding scientists and engineers have always been great to work with, and I'm sure that working with Pitts and other NREL technical staff members in developing the sensors and partnering with them will be more of the same."

"During the coming year we will focus on developing manufacturing processes and integrating the sensor into our core product lines, drum vent filters and nuclear material storage containers," said Terry Wickland Vice President for Marketing. "Eventually we will have the sensors built into vehicles powered by fuel cells. These sensors are intrinsically safe, meaning the sensor, which is smaller than the eraser of a pencil, changes color in the presence of hydrogen and is detected with fiber optics."

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Explore further: Classic videogame Tetris to be made into a movie

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanoparticles give up forensic secrets

6 hours ago

A group of researchers from Switzerland has thrown light on the precise mechanisms responsible for the impressive ability of nanoparticles to detect fingermarks left at crime scenes.

Study shows sharks have personalities

7 hours ago

Some sharks are 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious ...

Desktop device to make key gun part goes on sale in US

8 hours ago

The creator of the world's first 3D plastic handgun unveiled Wednesday his latest invention: a pre-programmed milling machine that enables anyone to easily make the core component of a semi-automatic rifle.

Twitter-funded lab to seek social media insights

8 hours ago

A new Twitter-funded research project unveiled Wednesday, with access to every tweet ever sent, will look for patterns and insights from the billions of messages sent on social media.

Recommended for you

New frontier in error-correcting codes

12 hours ago

Error-correcting codes are one of the glories of the information age: They're what guarantee the flawless transmission of digital information over the airwaves or through copper wire, even in the presence of the corrupting ...

The New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs

13 hours ago

The New York Times Co. says it is cutting about 100 newsroom jobs through buyouts and layoffs in an effort to trim costs and focus more on its digital efforts.

Minimally invasive surgery with hydraulic assistance

14 hours ago

Endoscopic surgery requires great manual dexterity on the part of the operating surgeon. Future endoscopic instruments equipped with a hydraulic control system will provide added support during minimally ...

Engineering new vehicle powertrains

15 hours ago

Car engines – whether driven by gasoline, diesel, or electricity – waste an abundance of energy. Researchers are working on ways to stem this wastefulness. Ultramodern test facilities are helping them ...

Analyzing gold and steel – rapidly and precisely

16 hours ago

Optical emission spectrometers are widely used in the steel industry but the instruments currently employed are relatively large and bulky. A novel sensor makes it possible to significantly reduce their size ...

User comments : 0