DOE announces winners of Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize

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Energy dot gov Office of Energy Efficiency and renewable energy

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office


April 11, 2024

Department of Energy Announces Phase Two Winners of Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the phase-two winners of the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize, a multi-phase competition launched by the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) to identify, develop, and test disruptive technologies that reduce the cost of producing clean hydrogen. This prize competition complements DOE's comprehensive portfolio of research, development, and demonstration efforts to achieve DOE's Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of producing clean hydrogen to $1 per kg. 

The four winners announced for this phase (the Prove! phase) will each receive $300,000 in national laboratory vouchers and $100,000 in cash to support their demonstration efforts in preparation for the final stage in 2025—phase three (Pitch Day!), in which competing teams will present their innovations to potential investors and commercial partners.

The Prove! phase winners announced today are shown below:

PAX Scientific
Richmond, CA

Development of water purification system to enable use of high-salinity or non-potable water for electrolysis, without the need for expensive reverse-osmosis membranes.


NX Fuels
Ann Arbor, MI

Development of solar-hydrogen device using low-cost, industry-ready materials.


Electro-Active Technologies
Knoxville, TN

Integration of solar technologies, algae, and microbial electrolysis for hydrogen production from waste.


Green Fortress Engineering
Indianapolis, IN

Development of hydrogen separation membrane for an indirectly heated pyrolytic gasifier, with a focus on reducing the cost of the membrane and increasing the efficiency of separation.


During the Prove! phase, teams developed their concepts and designs with the help of national laboratory experts. Submissions included a plan with preliminary designs for a laboratory-scale demonstration, along with techno-economic and emissions analyses to validate the proposed concepts.

"These winning projects complement HFTO's broader hydrogen portfolio by supporting novel approaches and technologies for clean hydrogen production," said HFTO Director Dr. Sunita Satyapal. "We are all eager to see how they advance their ideas in the final stage!"

In phase one (Propose!), completed in October 2022, nine winning teams each received $60,000 for their early-stage concepts for novel hydrogen production technologies. Phase-one prizes consisted of $10,000 in cash and $50,000 in vouchers for teams to spend at national laboratories to further develop their concepts.

The Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize competition supports DOE's Hydrogen Shot goal of reducing the cost of producing clean hydrogen to $1 per kilogram. Officially known as the American-Made H-Prize: Hydrogen Shot Incubator, this prize is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is led by HFTO with support from the DOE Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.