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UCR professor gets fuel-cell research grant

A UC Riverside professor has been awarded part of a $6.25 million defense grant for work on lightweight power sources. (UC Riverside)

September 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A University of California-Riverside engineering professor is part of a team of nationwide researchers awarded a five-year $6.25 million grant for work on a lightweight, ecologically efficient and long-lasting mobile power source.Professor Yushan Yan, the chair of the UCR Dept. of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, is part of the research team that comprises people from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Chicago.

The grant is underwritten by the U.S. Dept. of Defense. The portion of the $6.25 million grant going to Yan and UCR is $875,000.

The grant is to fund research into replacing batteries that military personnel carry in the field with fuel cells. It's hoped lighter-weidght fuel cells that are environmentally friendly will replace the current load of up to 30 pounds of batteries armed service members carry. The batteries power items like night-vision goggles and GPS devices. The fuel cells could be up to 80 percent lighter than batteries.

The research may add to advances in fuel-cell technology for the private sector as well as the military. Yan sees transportation as a field that would potentially benefit from the ongoing research.