Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program

Hosted by the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Clean Energy Innovation Research Centre, the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program will create a cleaner, more sustainable Canadian energy and chemical industry through materials innovation.

In so doing, the NRC will coordinate a national effort to collaborate with leaders in academia and industry to catalyze the discovery and development of materials for early-stage exploratory technologies to decarbonize Canada's oil and gas and petrochemical sectors.

Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program (Transcript)

About the program

The Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program will develop new materials for zero-emission transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks across the continuum from discovery to commercialization. Through collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, it will advance a unique initiative to bring disruptive solutions to the design, development and delivery of clean fuels and chemicals in Canada.

Areas of focus

The program will focus on the following 3 areas:


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Projects and teams

  • High performance membrane electrode assemblies for alkaline solid electrolyte water electrolysis
  • Prototype PMP reactor and brassbound development for low-cost clean H2 production
  • Advanced electrolysis for chemical production and clean fuels
  • Functionalized boron-nitride nanotubes for energy applications
  • A materials acceleration platform for the development of membrane electrode assemblies
  • OpenOS: A software for self-driving laboratories
  • Converting carbon capture solutions into value-added chemicals using a bicarbonate electrolyzer
  • In situ and operando characterization of catalyst and electrode structures for electrochemical CO2 reduction
  • Anion exchange membrane development and in situ characterization for CO2 electrolyzers
  • Specialty chemical electro synthesis from CO2
  • Development and validation of an integrated LCA/TEA platform for CO2 conversion technologies evaluation
  • CO2 to jet fuel technology platform
  • Scalable plasmonic catalysts for CO2 reduction
  • Renewable syngas from photocatalytic CO2 conversion
  • Direct conversion of CO2-rich flue gas to syngas for power-to-liquids technologies
  • Solar fuels for carbon neutral transportation

Collaborate with us

The program's first engagement activities have been completed and an initial group of projects has been identified. There will be ongoing future opportunities for Canadian and international universities, colleges, centres of excellence, not-for-profit organizations, governmental research organizations, and highly innovative firms with an interest in applying MCF to scientific discovery and development to get involved.

Grant and contribution funding will be available through the NRC's National Program Office for eligible collaborators who offer complementary expertise. This may include contributions to collaborative R&D as well as equipment needed for research in fundamental areas. Consult the collaborative R&D funding page for more information.

Learn more


Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating with us, making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Andrew Johnston
Program Director for the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program
Telephone: 613-218-9097

Related links


List of publications related to the program.

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