the terms of the multi-year grant Altair will receive $400,000
for collaborative research and development efforts through
its subcontractor agreement with UNLVRF. Additional project
partners include University of Nevada Center for Energy Research
(UNLVCER), Proton Energy Systems (PES), and the Las Vegas
Valley Water District.
grant award marks a groundbreaking event for the development
of alternative energy sources," said Dr. Alan J. Gotcher,
chief executive officer of Altair Nanotechnologies. "The
consortium's two-pronged approach -- that of developing new
Tandem Cells™ for power, along with related vehicle refilling
stations -- should serve to rapidly commercialize alternative
energy vehicles throughout Nevada and ultimately the entire
U.S. We are proud to be part of a project supporting the National
Hydrogen Fuel Initiative."
hydrogen refilling station project is a positive step toward
achieving the national goal of energy independence,"
said Thomas Williams, Executive Director of the UNLV Research
Foundation. "We are pleased to work with such prestigious
companies in advancing the hydrogen economy. We are also addressing
related factors, such as how to achieve higher efficiency
for electrolysers, and the development of new and expanding
technologies that will alleviate our dependence on fossil
Solar's CEO, Dr. David Auty, added, "This project is
the first step to commercializing our Tandem Cell technology
in the American arena. We believe we have a highly efficient
and world leading product for producing inexpensive, carbon-free
hydrogen. We expect this to be a key technology as we move
towards a future hydrogen economy, and are delighted to be
working with such high caliber partners."
is the fuel of the future and solar applications to produce
hydrogen are a good way to become energy independent,"
said Senator Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader and a long-time
supporter of hydrogen research and development at UNLV. "We
have the capabilities in Nevada to bring these cutting-edge
technologies to the market. The research performed by this
grant will bring us a step closer to achieving our goals."
the terms of the grant, UNLVRF, a non-profit affiliate of
UNLV, and UNLVCER will lead a team of industrial and technology
partners to spearhead multiple research and development projects
that will lead, in the future, to production and commercialization
of solar-based hydrogen technologies. UNLVCER serves as the
technical lead, with PES as the electrolyser developer, supplier
and subcontractor. Hydrogen Solar LLC and Altair will act
as research and product development partners in utilizing
nanotechnology processes. The Las Vegas Valley Water District
will provide vehicles for conversion, as well as continuing
site support and coordination.
I of the project, entails the development of a hydrogen refilling
station, and work is already underway on this by the UNLVRF.
II comprises the expanding of capabilities of the existing
station by developing a high pressure, more efficient electrolyser.
Phase II also includes the use of the Tandem Cell™, which
converts light and water directly into hydrogen fuel in a
highly efficient, renewable and carbon-free process.
Solar LLC believes the Tandem Cell will provide hydrogen at
a significantly lower cost than the current photovoltaic /
electrolyser routes being developed.
to the Tandem Cell technology is the very high performance
of the photo-catalytic nano-crystalline thin films developed
by Hydrogen Solar LLC. These are used to gather photons of
incident light and convert them into electrons to directly
split water into its constituent elements. Altair Nanotechnologies,
Inc. will use their nanomaterials synthesis technology to
develop low cost processing for and further improve the performance
of the thin film electrode in the front section of the Tandem
Cell. Altair's efforts will focus on iron oxide-based materials
and include development of film deposition methods and synthesis
routes for the optimized metal oxide nanomaterials.
Cell concept was co-invented by the Swiss Federal University
of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and the University of Geneva
(UoG), and was made possible thanks to research and development
support by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy over a considerable
period of time. The Tandem Cell™ concept is the subject of
a patent by Prof. Michael Graetzel (EPFL) and Jan Augustynski
(UoG). Hydrogen Solar LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Hydrogen Solar Ltd UK, which holds the world-wide exclusive
rights to the Tandem Cell™. Prof. Graetzel is a scientific
advisor to both Hydrogen Solar Ltd and Altair.
an emerging field, nanotechnology is already having a unique
impact on several industry sectors. Altair Nanotechnologies
is positioning itself through product innovation to become
a leading supplier of ceramic, metal oxide-based nanomaterial
technology and nanomaterials worldwide. Altair owns robust
proprietary technology platforms for manufacturing a variety
of crystalline and non-crystalline nano-materials of unique
structure, performance, quality and cost. Altair has installed
semi-works capability with a capacity to produce hundreds
of tons of nano-materials.
is organized into two divisions: Life Sciences and Performance
Materials. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications
in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials, cosmetics
and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division
is pursuing market applications in Advanced Materials for
Paints and Coatings (titanium pigments and thermal spray coatings),
Advanced Materials for Improving Process Technologies (titanium
metal manufacturing, catalysts and water treatment), Advanced
Materials for Alternative Energy (high performance batteries,
fuel cell and photovoltaics) and other high performance material
applications. For additional information on Altair and its
nano-materials, visit www.altairnano.com.
Nanotechnologies, Inc.®, Altair Nanomaterials™, TiNano®,
RenaZorb™, NanoCheck™, TiNano Spheres™ and the Hydrochloride
Pigment Process™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.
information on consortium members:
Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.: www.altairnano.com
Hydrogen Solar Ltd: www.hydrogensolar.com or RupertLeach@Newspath.co.uk
Las Vegas Valley Water District: www.lvvwd.com
Proton Energy Systems, Inc.: www.protonenergy.com
Senator Harry Reid: www.reid.senate.gov
UNLV Center for Energy Research: www.me.unlv.edu/research/energy.htm
UNLV Research Foundation: www.unlv.edu/Research/foundation.html