Current research

Current Research 740x300

Our PhD students are undertaking hydrogen research in a wide variety of areas.

Systems

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 Zoe Pallis 

University of Nottingham (started 2020)

Research area: Public perceptions of hydrogen for heat.

Zoe's mixed-methods research uses a combination     of qualitative and quantitative approaches to explore factors which may drive, or hinder, public support for hydrigen's use in domestic heating.

 

 

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Stephen Marr

Loughborough University (started 2020)

Research areaDevelopment of techniques and methods for sampling, calibration and testing of hydrogen purity for fuel cell vehicles.

Measurement challenges for hydrogen fuel cells are preventing the overall sector from growing. The project Stephen is looking at aims to develop a cylinder passivation technology, providing temporal stability data for the 14 trace contaminants outlined in ISO 14687-2. 

 

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Amit Verma     

Loughborough University (started 2020)

Research area: Understanding the potential of hydrogen technology adoption in a complex challenging energy system.

Amit is looking at existing energy systems and potential hydrogen technologies on economic, technological, and engineering grounds to evaluate their potential for successful adoption. He will also analyse how they support or hinder development of these technologies, and give an understanding of what needs to change.

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Cheryl Duke     

University of Nottingham  (started 2021)

Research area: Quantifying environmental and resource impacts of the future UK hydrogen fuelled vehicle fleet.

This project develops novel LCA models to assess the resource and environmental implications of deploying hydrogen fuelled vehicles in the UK’s light and heavy duty road fleets. Cheryl will consider the current and future mix of hydrogen production routes, vehicle manufacture, use and end-of-life vehicle management.

 

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Katarina Pegg     

University of Birmingham (started 2021)

Research area: The role of green hydrogen in the West Midlands Combined Authority local energy system.

Green hydrogen production from weather dependent low-carbon generation is an area of growth signposted in the Committee on Climate Change’s 6th Carbon Budget. This research will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of green hydrogen generation at local level, specifically in the West Midlands Combined Authority area. 

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Salim Ubale     

University of Nottingham (started 2021)

Research area: Optimisation of hydrogen fuelling station operation and maintenance to maximise performance and resilience of key infrastructure.

It is desirable to maximise performance of hydrogen refuelling stations, not just for economic reasons, but to deliver the best customer experience. Salim's project seeks to optimise the plant operation, where planning preventative maintenance can help reduce disruption to service and improve the commercial case of a plant.

 

 

 


Production

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Jack Castle     

University of Nottingham (started 2019)

Research area: Sustainable electrocatalysts for hydrogen generation.

Jack carries out research into the development and use of polyoxometalates (POMs) as electrocatalysts, that facilitate both the oxygen and the hydrogen evolution reactions during electrolytic water splitting. He is particularly interested in the development of POM-carbon nanotube composites.

 

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Mickella Dawkins     

Loughborough University (started 2019)

Research area: Hydrogen enrichment of natural gas by thermo-catalytic decomposition of methane.

The gas network currently supplies natural gas to consumers but could instead supply gases, such as hydrogen, in the future. Thermo-catalytic decomposition of methane allows enrichment of natural gas with hydrogen, a carbon-free fuel. Mickella's research is focused on the development of this technology and the incorporation of wind energy.

 

 

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Adam McKinley     

Loughborough University (started 2019)

Research areaCatalyst development for low-cost large-scale sustainable hydrogen production from seawater and renewable energy. Adam is looking at the oxygen evolution and hydrogen production, via seawater splitting, driven by renewable energy. He is interested in the production and utilisation of low-cost, highly efficient and highly selective catalysts for the process. 

 

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Jai-Ram Mistry

    Loughborough University (started 2019_

Research area: Photocatalytic covalent organic frameworks for hydrogen production and storage. Jai undertakes research into the use of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) for hydrogen production and storage, as apposed to the popular MOF alternative. The project involves the synthesis of new molecules which can be functionalised onto the surface of COFs; creating photocatalytic and size-specific channels which will permit hydrogen production from water and selective ingress, storage and egress.

 

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Kieran Heeley     

University of Birmingham (started 2020)

Research area: Algal biomass to hydrogen: a circular approach for green sustainable processing with enhanced efficiency and minimal waste.

 

Kieran's project investigates hydrothermal conversion of algal biomass to H2-rich gas, in a sustainable circular approach.

 

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Courtney Quinn

     University of Nottingham (started 2020)

Research area: Sustainable hydrogen evolution catalysts.

The development of composite systems, based on molecular metal oxide nanoclusters and ionic liquids, is being investigated by Courtney. The ionic liquids will allow the stabilisation of the molecular catalysts into thin films, membranes and 3D-printed superstructures. Then research will be undertaken to explore the stability and efficiency of these systems during prolonged electrolysis. 

 

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Jack Shacklock

     Loughborough University (started 2020)

Research area: Lowering the H2 cost in methane cracking technology by using solid carbon as an energy storage material.

The research Jack is undertaking is designed to investigate the systematic alteration of process conditions to obtain value-added solid carbon, specifically for energy storage whilst still maintaining a high yield of hydrogen.

 

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Ruth Atkinson

     University of Nottingham (started 2021)

Research area: Designing efficient charge-transfer metal-semiconductors heterojunctions for hydrogen generation.

Ruth's project assesses metal-semiconductor combinations for suitability as photocatalysts for the generation of hydrogen from water. Materials based on Nb semiconductors with metals such as Co, Cu, Ni or Mo will be explored. They will be synthesised, characterized and tested for the generation of hydrogen from water.

 

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Mulako Mukelabai

     Loughborough University (started 2021)

Research area: Renewable hydrogen production to transition to clean cooking.

Mulako's project aims to develop technical and business models, and processes that will enable hydrogen produced from renewable energy to be utilised for cooking.This process is understood; however, the system needs not just the right technology, it also needs the development of the right business model, human capacity and social acceptance to bring about the transformation of traditional cooking practices. 

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Aryamman Sanyal

     Loughborough University (started 2021)

Research area: Reactor design and performance optimisation for catalytic hydrogen production from methane.

Aryamman's project aims to design, develop and test hydrogen generation reactor suitable for advanced catalyst, that demonstrate high H2 yield and efficient carbon separation. Natural gas into hydrogen and graphite has the potential to be highly disruptive and presents substantial value, if the process can be scaled up to commercial quantities. 

 

 

 

Storage

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Edward Jones

     Loughborough University (started 2019)

Research area: Neutron spectroscopy of surface intermediates on nanoporous metal catalysts for H2 storage technologies.

Ed is using neutron spectroscopy to study reaction intermediate speciation and diffusional properties of cobalt catalysed CO/CO2 hydrogenation and borohydride decomposition, for hydrogen storage.

 

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Alex McGrath

     University of Nottingham (started 2020)

Research area: Synthesis and characterisation of metal alloys for hydrogen storage and related applications.

Alex's project aims to experimentally synthesize new metal alloys shortlisted by computational screening; and characterise their physical, chemical and structural nature along with their thermodynamic and kinetic properties, during hydrogenation and de-hydrogenation.

 

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Oliver Morrison

     University of Nottingham (started 2019)

Research area: Hydrogenation of storage materials.

Oliver is applying machine learning models to run accurate molecular dynamic simulations, with an emphasis on understanding the (de)hydrogenation reactions in metal hydrides. A more detailed understanding of these reactions will inform the selection of improved hydrogen storage materials.

 

 

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Jacob Prosser

     University of Nottingham (started 2019)

Research area: High capacity mixed metal borohydrides ammoniates for hydrogen energy storage applications.

Jacob undertakes research into mixed metal borohydride ammoniates (MMBAs) as alternative hydrogen storage materials. He is interested in the synthesis of novel MMBAs, elucidating the reaction mechanisms responsible for the decomposition process and investigating catalysts to accelerate the release of hydrogen.

 

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Chris Ryder

     University of Nottingham (started 2019)

Research area: High-throughput cycling coupled XPS of hydrogen storage materials.

Chris's research looks into the application of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to samples in high-pressure environments. He is particularly interested in developing a method which extends XPS to pressures compatible with hydrogen storage.

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Antonia Dase

     University of Nottingham (started 2020)

Research area: Dehydrogenation catalysis of mixed metal borohydride ammoniates.

Antonia is developing novel catalysts for the dehydrogenation of mixed metal borohydride ammoniates, and seeks to elucidate the mechanisms involved in order to improve reaction conditions and selectivity.

 

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Una O'Hara     

University of Birmingham (started 2020)

Research area: Development of high-performance complex hydrides.

Here Una is investigating boron-based and nitrogen-based complex hydrides which will be synthesized by chemical and mechanochemical routes (or sourced); and their hydrogen storage, electrical, and thermal properties will be assessed in detail.

 

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Samuel Lines

     University of Nottingham (started 2021)

Research area: Computational modelling of solid-state hydrogen storage materials.

Samuel's project aims to understand the composition-structure-property correlations of solid-state hydrogen storage materials, through accurate density functional theory simulations of existing and hypothetical materials. The most promising candidate materials discovered from the simulations will be synthesised and characterised, and their hydrogen storage properties will be validated by experiments. 

 

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Zachary Menhinnit

     University of Nottingham (started 2021)

Research area: Nano-quasicrystals for hydrogen storage

A major barrier to exploitation of hydrogen in energy applications, especially vehicles, is the lack of a safe, efficient and cost-effective storage system. Quasicrystals (QC) have the potential to be a lightweight hydrogen storage material due to their unique multi-shell cluster structure. Zachary's project aims to develop high-performance nano-QC materials for on-board vehicle hydrogen storage. 

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Yassin Ziar

     University of Nottingham (started 2021)

Research area: Modular additive manufacturing for next-generation hydrogen storage.

Compact hydrogen storage is a challenge for hydrogen vehicles, with current vessels being too large and operating at high pressures.  Solid state metal hydrides (MH) can store large quantities of hydrogen in smaller volumes and at lower pressure but have not made it to market, as suitable vessels have not been developed. Yassin's project will investigate the design and manufacture of a new compact MH storage vessel.

 

 

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Patrick Powell120x150

 

Patrick Powell     University of Birmingham (started 2021)

Research area: The use of hydrogen as a processing gas to produce rare earth magnets.

Hydrogen is used in the production of sintered (rare earth) neodymium-iron-boron magnets and the recycling of them. New methods to manufacture rare earth magnets based on hydrogen ductilisation have been found; reducing the number of steps, reducing waste and potentially giving an economic advantage to magnet manufacture. The process is far from optimised and the aim of Patrick's project is to develop this.

 

 

Safety

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Hazhir Ebne-Abbasi

Ulster University (started 2020)

Research area: Assessment and mitigation of hydrogen-fuelled vehicle hazards.

The project Hazhir is exploring aims to close knowledge gaps associated with safety of high-pressure hydrogen storage relevant to hydrogen-fuelled transport; and to develop novel engineering models for such areas as predicting thermal condition of tank structure, safe fuelling and defueling of onboard tanks and prevention of tank rupture in a fire, etc. 

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Mina Kazemi     

Ulster University (started 2020)

Research area: Hazards and mitigation of hydrogen releases in underground parking.

The scope of Mina's doctoral study includes the identification and prioritisation of relevant knowledge gaps, performing analytical and numerical studies to close identified knowledge gaps; and the development of innovative safety strategies and engineering solutions to prevent and mitigate accidents with hydrogen powered vehicles in confined infrastructures, specifically carparks. 

 

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Srinivas Sivaraman

     Ulster University (started 2021)

Research area: Safety of using ammonia in the hydrogen economy.

The use of ammonia in industries and its transportation offers practical, cost-effective storage and transport of large quantities of hydrogen. Using ammonia as hydrogen carrier, calls for a reassessment of hazards and risks. Srinivas's project aims to develop safety strategies and solutions for handling large quantities of ammonia used as a hydrogen carrier during transport, storage onboard and using in relevant infrastructure.

 

 

 

Distribution

Harvey Craddock-Monroe120x150

Harvey Craddock-Monroe

Loughborough University (started 2020)

 

Research area: Development of odour additives for use in hydrogen technology.

The remit of the project Harvey is undertaking involves the design and synthesis of new odour additives for hydrogen storage, and then benchmarking them against the current industry standard(s). 

 

 

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Samir Soares

     University of Nottingham (started 2020)

 

Research area: Hydrogen for a sustainable built environment.

Samir's research builds upon significant existing investment that created a unique hydrogen research facility at the Creative Energy Homes. The project will produce a working demonstrator, including control for hydrogen as a Novel Multi-Energy Vector  for Hydrogen Energy Generation-Storage-Use in the built environment. 

 

 

Combustion

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Will Bowling 

University of Nottingham (started 2019)

Research area: Experimental study of advanced ammonia fuelled heavy duty IC engines under low load operator.

Will is undertaking research in Turbulent Jet Ignition technology, enabling the use of ammonia as a fuel. Specific interests surround producing a zero carbon internal combustion engine platform, that gives similar efficiencies to a larger fuel cell vehicle. 

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Zak Waite

     University of Nottingham  (started 2020)

Research area: To a 100% hydrogen domestic boiler.

 

Zak's project seeks to redesign the domestic boiler so that hydrogen can be used as a network fuel.

At the moment because methane, which is currently used, burns quite differently from hydrogen our current domestic boilers cannot be used.