Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Supergen Hub

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Earth Science and Engineering

Abstract

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (HFC) SUPERGEN Hub seeks to address a number of key issues facing the hydrogen and fuel cells sector specifically: (i) to evaluate and demonstrate the role of hydrogen and fuel cell research in the UK energy landscape, and to link this to the wider landscape internationally, and (ii) to identify, study and exploit the impact of hydrogen and fuel cells in low carbon energy systems. Such systems will include the use of HFC technologies to manage intermittency with increased penetration of renewables, supporting the development of secure and affordable energy supplies for the future. Both low carbon transport (cars, buses, boat/ferries) and low carbon heating/power systems employing hydrogen and/or fuel cells have the potential to be important technologies in our future energy system, benefiting from their intrinsic high efficiency and ability to use a wide range of low to zero carbon fuel stocks. One major drive for the Hub is to contribute to technology development that will help the UK to meet its ambitious carbon emissions targets. We will also link the academic research base with industry, from companies with global reach through to SMEs and technology start-ups, to ensure effective and appropriate translation of research to support wealth and job creation for UK plc, and with local and national government to inform policy development. The Hub will champion the complete landscape in hydrogen and fuel cells research, both within the UK and internationally, via networks, knowledge exchange and stakeholder (including outreach) engagement, community building, and education, training and continuous professional development.

Planned Impact

Industrial Impact: The key industry players across the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain are working closely with us, and many of these have agreed to sit on our Advisory Board. This will ensure communication, relevance and impact of the Hub's research beyond its academic boundaries. Companies who have provided us letters of support for our Hub include those in hydrogen production and distribution (Air Products, ITM, Gasplas), process integration (CPI), the UK's leading PEM fuel cell developer (Intelligent Energy), both of the UK's leading SOFC developers (Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems and Ceres Power), a global supplier of materials and catalysts for hydrogen production and conversion (Johnson Matthey), a leading automotive technology company active in this sector (Ricardo), and end users of fuel cell technology (DSTL in the military sector and EADS in aerospace). We will specifically target some of our events at the SME sector, including companies such as Auriga Energy, to help reach out along the supply chain in the UK. The Hub Director (Brandon) has extensive experience in the commercialisation of research in this area, having founded and run Ceres Power, now a 140 person fuel cell company. And we are pleased to note that our industry partners have commited £647,000 of in kind support to our proposal.

Policy Impact: Hub partners cover all key UK regions. This together with the presence of representatives from DECC, UKERC, and ETI on our Advisory Board, and the letters of support from e.g. Low Carbon South West and the Scottish Government, provide the ideal basis for effective use of the Hub's research to inform national and regional policy in the HFC sector. Our white papers will be the primary mechanism through which we will translate the Hub's research into impact for the policy community.

Public and Social Impact: There is great public interest in energy and climate change, renewable energy in particular and, in our experience, in HFC. We willensure that the public are aware of and engaged with our work. We will build on our white papers to communicate important conclusions at public science events such as lectures at the Darwin Centre in London, and at other national, regional and local events and venues, and via accessible online information and other resources on HFC and related technologies, including those provided by our KTN partners.

Economic Impact: The energy industries in the UK economy represent 4 % of GDP (~UK£60B), 10 % of total investment, 52 % of industrial investment and employ about 173,00 people (UK Energy in Brief, 2011) and the vast majority of the UK's 62M population benefits from the availability of heat, power and means of transport that these industries provide. Hence, even for low growth, there are significant economic and employment opportunities for HFC technologies (including managing intermittent renewable electricity and providing routes to lower carbon heat and transport) as the UK moves to sustainable energy options to meet its demanding carbon budgets. Our Hub will exploit these opportunities, supported by industrial and policy partners, to maximise this economic impact.

International Impact: While our Hub is primarily a UK-based activity all the Hub investigators and industrial partners have wide international links in HFC research (and development) including in Europe, the USA, China, India Japan and S Korea. These are expected to develop and seed future international collaborations. Our impact internationally will derive mainly from the reputation for the highest standards of research excellence that we aim to achieve via our academic outputs and activities, via the research networks that we aim to establish as the Hub matures, and by presentations at the leading international conferences in the field.

Publications

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Agnolucci P (2013) Designing future hydrogen infrastructure: Insights from analysis at different spatial scales in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

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Ahmad E (2015) Optimizing Oxygen Reduction Catalyst Morphologies from First Principles in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C

 
Description The consortium have discovered improved materials and processes for fuel cells, hydrogen production and hydrogen storage, as well as informing a wide range of stakeholders of the value of these technologies in low carbon energy systems
Exploitation Route our finding are relevant to industrial developers and end users of the technology
Sectors Energy

 
Description Consortium outcomes have informed stakeholders in both industry and government of the opportunities related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Key outputs were a series of four white papers which have been cited by policy makers and others, and have supported the increased interest in the role of hydrogen and fuel cells in the low carbon energy transition.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Energy,Environment,Transport
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Committee on Climate Change research findings on gas networks futures and regulation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Hydrogen for heating investigated as an alternative low-carbon decarbonisation strategy by government studies as a result of H2FC Hub publications
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description BEIS IEA HIA Alternate Delegate
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2017 
End 03/2019
 
Description Scenarios for deployment of hydrogen in contributing to meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 target
Amount £25,725 (GBP)
Organisation Committee on Climate Change (CCC) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2015 
End 12/2015
 
Title Data for cryocharging and cryokinetics analysis of hydrogen storage in MIL-101 (Cr) and AX-21. 
Description Data for high-pressure hydrogen adsorption in MIL-101 (Cr) and AX-21. Includes: - Excel files (.xlsx) with isotherm data as excess uptake of hydrogen in weight percent (mass of hydrogen divided by dry mass of sample) for the metal-organic framework material MIL-101 (Cr) at 77, 90, 100, 110, 130, 150, 200 and 292 K and up to 12 MPa and for the activated carbon AX-21 at 90, 100, 110, 120, 150, 200 and 298 K and up to 18 MPa. - Excel files (.xlsx) with rational fits to the compressibility of hydrogen using the Leachman's equation of state for 77, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 150, 200, 292 and 298 K, up to 20 MPa. - Excel files (.xlsx) with kinetic data for hydrogen excess uptake (micromols), pressure (MPa) and sample temperature (K) as a function of time for the MIL-101 (Cr) 77 and 90 K isotherm and for the AX-21 90 K isotherm. - Origin files (.opj) with the analysis of the isotherm data for the cryocharging - Origin files (.opj) with the analysis of the kinetic data using the linear driving force model - Image files (.tif) for the SEM micrographs for the MIL-101 (Cr) and AX-21, and image files (.tif) for the particle analysis using Image J. Manuscript for the results in this dataset (forthcoming): High-pressure adsorptive storage of hydrogen in MIL-101 (Cr) and AX-21 for mobile applications: cryocharging and cryokinetics by Nuno Bimbo, Wesley Xu, Jessica E Sharpe, Valeska P Ting and Timothy J Mays 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Title Dataset for "Direct Evidence for Solid-Like Hydrogen in a Nanoporous Carbon Hydrogen Storage Material at Supercritical Temperatures" 
Description Dataset for Direct Evidence for Solid-Like Hydrogen in a Nanoporous Carbon Hydrogen Storage Material at Supercritical Temperatures journal paper. The data set includes inelastic neutron scattering data raw data files (.dat) collected on the TOSCA instrument at the ISIS neutron facility, at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, UK at the following hydrogen pressures (at 77 K) for activated carbon TE7: 0.016 MPa H2 at 77 K 0.074 MPa H2 at 77 K 0.168 MPa H2 at 77 K 0.300 MPa H2 at 77 K 0.630 MPa H2 at 77 K 0.998 MPa H2 at 77 K 2.071 MPa H2 at 77 K 3.500 MPa H2 at 77 K This data pertains to Figs 1, 2 and 3 in the paper " Direct Evidence for Solid-Like Hydrogen in a Nanoporous Carbon Hydrogen Storage Material at Supercritical Temperatures" (ACS Nano, 2015). The integrated intensities under the peaks were calculated from the raw data over the following ranges: - The total inelastic signal (integrated intensity from 2 to 500 meV). - Integrated intensity under the elastic peak from -2 meV to 2 meV. - Integrated intensity under the 14.7 meV rotor line fit using a Gaussian peak shape The data processing and peak integration was performed using the Mantid software (available from http://www.mantidproject.org). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description Work with DECC to improve hydrogen representation in the UK TIMES energy system model 
Organisation Department of Energy and Climate Change
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have contributed improvements to the representation of hydrogen production technologies in the UK TIMES energy system model.
Collaborator Contribution DECC have contributed questions about the representation of hydrogen in the existing model and advice on the use of it for policy analysis.
Impact Forthcoming.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Article in "Energy Focus" magazine about hydrogen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Paul Dodds published an article with Nigel Holmes (SHFCA Chief Executive and HYVE board member) in the Energy Industries Council "Energy Focus" magazine, about the move to a hydrogen economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.the-eic.com/Publications/EnergyFocus
 
Description Article in "The Conversation" about hydrogen for heating 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact An article on the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells to contribute to low-carbon heating was published by Paul Dodds in the online newspaper "The Conversation", based on the H2FC White Paper on heat provision.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Article published in the Chemistry and Industry magazine about using hydrogen for low-carbon heating 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Article based on the H2FC White Paper. The lead editor of the White Paper, Dr Paul Dodds, was interviewed by the article author.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Carbon Connect Advisory Board on low-carbon gas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Carbon Connect are holding an inquiry and producing a report about low-carbon gas, particularly hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas in heating. This inquiry is targeted at parliamentarians and is chaired by a cross-party group of three MPs. Paul Dodds is a member of the inquiry Advisory Board and has presented Hub and HYVE research to the Board.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description DECC Green Hydrogen Standard Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact DECC set up the Green Hydrogen Standard Working Group in order to define a standard for green hydrogen in the UK, to facilitate the introduction of hydrogen technologies. It was set up in response to the H2FC Hub White Paper on the potential for hydrogen and fuel cells to contribute to low-carbon heat provision, which recommended the development of a standard as a key step. The H2FC Hub is represented on the Working Group through Dr Paul Dodds (UCL), and has used its flexible fund to support a small research study that is providing evidence to the Working Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Invited presentation to a PRASEG/ENA event on the future of natural gas, for UK parliamentarians 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited talk to the PRASEG (All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group) in Whitehall about the future of natural gas in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited talk on hydrogen to the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact An invited talk on "The role of hydrogen in energy flexibility, availability, security, and decarbonisation" to a session of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) that examined the future potential of hydrogen energy systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Keynote lecture on hydrogen in shipping at the Port of Antwerp 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Paul Ekins gave a lecture, jointly written with Paul Dodds, on the challenges and opportunities related to the transition to a sustainable hydrogen economy. It took place at the Port of Antwerp on 28 March 2019. There was a specific focus on shipping. The lecture was followed by a tour of two novel low-carbon ships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Paul Dodds appointed Alternate UK Representative to IEA Hydrogen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Paul Dodds was appointed the Alternate UK Delegate to IEA Hydrogen by BEIS. His role involves him increasing the involvement of the UK academic and industrial community in IEA Hydrogen research by starting new tasks of strategic interest to the UK community and by building a UK network of interested parties. He organised a UK workshop in October 2017, attended an IEA Hydrogen meeting in December 2017. He is exploring the benefits of up to three new tasks and is organising another IEA Hydrogen meeting in the UK in mid-2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://ieahydrogen.org/
 
Description Presentation to the European Parliament on hydrogen energy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee of the European Parliament held a workshop on hydrogen on 19 February 2019. Paul Dodds presented on "The role of hydrogen in energy flexibility, availability, security, and decarbonisation", using insights from the HYVE project and several H2FC Supergen Hub projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/itre/events-workshops.html?id=20190211WKS02201
 
Description Seminar to civil servants from the UK Department for Transport about hydrogen energy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Paul Dodds held a 2-hour seminar and discussion session on hydrogen energy with around 30 civil servants from the UK Department for Hydrogen, on 8 November 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to 6th form pupils on hydrogen energy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Paul Dodds gave a UCL Science Centre Lecture to 6th form pupils on hydrogen energy. It took place for 1 hour, at UCL, on 19 October 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018