Aiken County's Economy To Benefit From Hydrogen Car Research

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September 19, 2005
The future fuel might mean a brighter future for Aiken County’s economy. The Savannah River National Laboratory is teaming with Toyota to study hydrogen cars. News 12 is on your side with how this will benefit Aiken County’s economy.

The Savannah River National Lab is using Cold War research for a future fuel: hydrogen. Ted Motyka is the lab’s program manager.

“Our experience is in hydrogen storage from our years of experience from the tritium facilities and we’re taking that technology to solve that one problem,” Motyka said.

That experience lured Toyota to team up with the National Lab for the next four years. They’ll figure out how to make hydrogen lighter and how to store it. Those are two important parts when it comes to putting a hydrogen fuel cell in a car. Right now they’re testing this glass micro-sphere.

“These are tiny, glass hollow spheres that can store air or hydrogen, if these had hydrogen in them you can take them, store them in your hand they’d be so safe,” Motyka said.

And though this project won’t change what we drive for another 15 years or so, it could help out Aiken County’s economy much sooner. This hydrogen lab will be finished in another month and the national attention could mean new researchers and new tax dollars for Aiken County.

Aiken County is paying for this $10 million lab. They’re hoping along with Savannah River researchers, people from companies like Toyota and universities will rent space here. And when they do, the county will start making money.