Energy from hydrogen


Production of low-carbon hydrogen is one of the key elements of the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution published by the UK government in 2020. The UK is aiming for 5 GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, benefiting around 8,000 green jobs. Low/zero carbon hydrogen could be used as a clean fuel and heat for residential, transport and industrial sectors.

In line with the government’s new energy policy, our research actively contributes to the efforts to move the UK towards a hydrogen economy. The Translational Energy Research Centre accommodates all the facilities needed to efficiently demonstrate the production and utilisation of low/zero carbon hydrogen at semi-industrial scale.

Namely, the facility hosts a 32 m³/h hydrogen electrolyser (powered by renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic solar panels). The utilisation of the produced hydrogen could take a variety of forms that could be demonstrated onsite: (i) a fuel for a 30 kW polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system, (ii) an element of the blended fuel used for the the state-of-the-art molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) carbon capture system and (iii) a pure fuel or an element of a blended fuel for a micro-CHP powering small households and (iv) a key constituent of the synthetic gas used in the RWGS-FT facility to produce synthetic fuels (e.g. jet fuels).

Specific areas of interest

Our particular areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Investigating optimal integration of hydrogen technologies into the low-carbon energy mix
  • Innovating new designs and/or materials to boost the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the hydrogen-consuming and generating technologies through numerical modelling and/or experimental means
  • Effects of composition of blended fuels (natural gas and hydrogen) on the efficiency of commonly used engines to produce electricity and/or heat
  • Optimisation of operating conditions to maximise the efficiency of production/utilisation of hydrogen fuel
  • Characterisation of porous media used in the clean technology of polymer electrolyte fuel cells
  • Numerical modelling of the electrodes of the polymer electrolyte fuel cells