UKRI is funding research into hydrogen and alternative low-carbon fuels, with the aim of building two Centers of Excellence in Bath and Newcastle.
From 1 April, Professor Tim Mays from Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering will lead the research at the University of Bath, which aims to tackle research challenges hampering the wider use of low-carbon fuels in the UK.
Professor Mays will be one of two UK Hydrogen Research Coordinators looking to establish National Centers of Excellence in their home institutions over the next six months.
The other coordinator project at Newcastle University is led by Professor Sara Walker, School of Engineering, whose team will explore ways to achieve greater systems integration.
“A thriving, low-carbon hydrogen sector is essential to the government’s plans to build better, with a cleaner, greener energy system,” said Prof. Mays. “Large amounts of low-carbon hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels such as ammonia are required, which must be stored and transported to the points of use.”
EPSRC funding in Bath, which initially totaled over £400k, will support research activities, including stakeholder engagement workshops in the UK. Professor Mays’s team will bring together multidisciplinary multi-site projects with the aim of building longer-term research alliances.
Industry project partners include ITM Power, the Health and Safety Executive, Jaguar Land Rover, GKN Aerospace, Wales and West Utilities, Siemens Energy and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.
The team will use a “theory of change” process to map out the biggest research challenges, their potential solutions and resulting effects.
The research will focus on the potential of green low-carbon fuels to decarbonise land, water and air transport, power generation, and domestic and industrial heating, as well as high-carbon industries such as steel, cement, glass and other industries. fertilizers.
In Newcastle, Professor Walker will focus on the role of these fuels in the net zero transition in providing connectivity and flexibility across the energy system.
She will bring expertise in energy systems integration and will strive to analyze the landscape, challenges and demand for these fuels to identify viable investment priorities. The team will use digital and virtual stakeholder engagement to provide new perspectives on future hydrogen routes.
dr. Kedar Pandya, EPSRC Director for Cross-Council Programmes, said there is growing consensus that these low-carbon fuels will play a key role in decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy, as reflected in the government’s 2021 UK hydrogen strategy. .
“Over the next six months, hydrogen research coordinators across the UK will work to build understanding and foster expertise in research and systems integration,” said Dr. pandya.
“The focused, multi-stakeholder plan they are creating will support consideration of hydrogen as an important part of the UK energy mix and inform EPSRC’s future plans for an integrated, ambitious research and innovation program working across the hydrogen value chain and key sectors of use. in collaboration with the business community.”