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Press Release | Argonne National Laboratory

Department of Energy awards Argonne National Laboratory and partners up to $1 billion to launch clean hydrogen hub in the Midwest

The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2) has been awarded funding to ramp up clean hydrogen production

Argonne National Laboratory is one of over 70 partners that have banded together to launch a regional clean hydrogen hub in the Midwest.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is one of over 70 partners that have banded together to launch a regional clean-hydrogen hub in the Midwest. The partnership, the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), has been awarded up to $1 billion in funding from the DOE to accelerate the production and use of clean hydrogen. 

The hub will build the foundation for a new, clean-hydrogen economy. When up and running, the hub will be a central part of a national clean-hydrogen network that will support communities by providing clean-energy investments, well-paying jobs and improved energy security. The hub anticipates creating 13,600 direct jobs — 12,100 in construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs. 

MachH2 brings together government, industry, academia, and non-profits for the development of a Midwest hydrogen economy. Argonne looks forward to contributing to this regional partnership, leveraging our laboratory’s scientific and engineering leadership for a clean-energy future.” — Argonne Director Paul Kearns

The key driver behind the hydrogen hub is to reduce CO2 emissions by replacing the use of fossil fuels with clean hydrogen in industries such as steel, ammonia, oil refining and transportation, which are hard to decarbonize by any other means.

DOE’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs (H2Hubs) will kickstart a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure while supporting the production, storage, delivery and end-use of clean hydrogen. Funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the H2Hubs will accelerate the commercial-scale deployment of clean hydrogen — helping generate clean, dispatchable power, create a new form of energy storage, and decarbonize heavy industry and transportation. Together, they will also reduce 25 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from end-uses each year — an amount roughly equivalent to combined annual emissions of 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars — and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs across the country while supporting healthier communities and strengthening America’s energy security. 

Unlocking the full potential of hydrogen — a versatile fuel that can be made from almost any energy resource in virtually every part of the country — is crucial to achieving President Biden’s goal of American industry powered by American clean energy, ensuring less volatility and more affordable energy options for American families and businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. With this historic investment, the Biden-Harris Administration is laying the foundation for a new, American-led industry that will propel the global clean energy transition while creating high quality jobs and delivering healthier communities in every pocket of the nation.”  

For years, Argonne has worked to develop new technologies that utilize hydrogen. Now, it is helping to make clean hydrogen the fuel of the future.   

MachH2 brings together government, industry, academia, and non-profits for the development of a Midwest hydrogen economy,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. Argonne looks forward to contributing to this regional partnership, leveraging our laboratory’s scientific and engineering leadership for a clean-energy future.”

The hub includes two DOE national labs, dozens of companies, numerous universities and multiple non-profits. Together, they will work on projects that advance hydrogen production, storage, transportation and use. The hub will also address environmental justice issues in the Midwest by providing education, job-training programs and entrepreneurial support in disadvantaged communities and those struck by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

Most of the hub’s projects will be based in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. However, partners across the Midwest will work on projects that bring clean hydrogen to their communities. With a central location and access to various green-energy options, the Midwest is a logical choice to create a new, clean-hydrogen hub.

Clean hydrogen provides the opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions in industries such as steel, ammonia, cement and oil refining — as well as in the transportation sector — by replacing the use of fossil fuels with clean hydrogen.

Argonne is playing a critical role in the hub. As a global leader in evaluating the environmental and economic impacts of new energy technologies, Argonne will not only assess the effects of the hub’s clean hydrogen projects; it will also work with community-based organizations to ensure these projects make a difference in the communities they serve. 

Argonne’s contributions to the MachH2 Hub come in six key areas:

  • Lifecycle Assessment: Quantifying the carbon footprint and environmental impact of hydrogen fuel production from cradle to grave. Argonne’s Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model will determine the emissions from hydrogen production and consumption from the MachH2 projects.  
  • Techno-economic Analysis: Assessing the potential economic performance of new clean-hydrogen technologies. As experts in the field, Argonne staff will take the lead in determining the costs and benefits of producing hydrogen and other chemicals, such as ammonia, by MachH2 projects.  
  • Community Engagement: Engaging with community leaders, stakeholders, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, unions and other institutions in Illinois. By listening to community members, we can better understand their needs, maximize socioeconomic benefits, and address existing and emerging community concerns.  
  • Workforce Development: Leading the effort to build the robust hydrogen workforce needed to support a new Midwest hydrogen economy. This includes developing education and training programs and other initiatives to promote well-paying hydrogen jobs in the region.    
  • Startup Support: Leveraging Argonne’s successful entrepreneurship program, Chain Reaction Innovations, to boost innovative hydrogen startups.  
  • Environmental Justice: Assessing the impacts of hydrogen power on disadvantaged communities and maximizing their benefits.  

In addition, Argonne will provide scientific expertise in clean-hydrogen technology through participation in MachH2’s advisory committees.

This project is just one of many ways Argonne collaborates with partners across the country to advance clean-hydrogen technology. Through these partnerships between government agencies, industry, academia and non-profit organizations, real progress can be made to advance new clean-energy technologies and usher in the green economy of the future.

Support for the MachH2 Hub is provided by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations. The funding is part of a larger $8 billion initiative funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that aims to create a network of H2Hubs across America. Read DOE’s full press release here. Read the White House factsheet here. Learn more out the Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs here.

MachH2 is a multi-state coalition of public and private entities representing every phase in the hydrogen value chain. The alliance includes a cross-section of carbon-free energy producers, clean energy developers, hydrogen technology providers, utilities, major manufacturers, national labs and leading hydrogen technology development and deployment institutions, world-class universities, and groups focused on environmental justice. Learn more atMachH2​.com

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.