New global consortium to advance net zero hydrogen

A significant new international research project is aiming to advance net zero hydrogen production and explore the economic and policy requirements of building a just hydrogen economy.

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The Global Hydrogen Production Technologies Center (HyPT) is a £14.1m five-year programme featuring almost 20 universities from across the UK, US, Canada and Australia. Cranfield University, Arizona State University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Adelaide will lead separate strands of the project in their respective countries. While the other country leads will each explore a different method of net zero hydrogen production, Cranfield will examine the economic, social and environmental system changes needed to build a global hydrogen economy, as well as the impact production has on local communities and ecosystems.

“HyPT is a transformative international collaboration dedicated to driving the development of a sustainable hydrogen ecosystem,” said UK research lead Nazmiye Ozkan, Professor in Sustainable Energy Transitions and head of the Centre for Energy Systems and Strategy at Cranfield University.

“Our mission is to unlock the potential of Net Zero hydrogen production making it an accessible and affordable energy source.

“What’s crucial is that this initiative will not only advance cutting-edge hydrogen technologies, but also address the economic and policy dimensions that are essential to developing a global hydrogen economy.”

On the technology side, Arizona State University will lead research into water electrolysis, where electricity is used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The University of Adelaide will lead on photocatalysis, using sunlight to help water break apart into oxygen and hydrogen. The University of Toronto will explore methane pyrolysis, where natural gas is heated to high temperatures, producing hydrogen and solid carbon.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has allocated £6.2m in funding to UK participants, with Cranfield University receiving £1.8m.

“We are excited to be partnering with our sister organisations in the US, Canada and Australia to accelerate progress toward this crucial goal,” said Dame Ottoline Leyser, UKRI CEO.

“Our combined investment in Global Centers enables exciting researcher and innovation-led international and interdisciplinary collaboration to drive the energy transition. I look forward to seeing the creative solutions developed through these global collaborations.”

The full list of partners taking part in HyPT is:

UK: Cranfield University, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, Cambridge University, and Birmingham University

US: Arizona State University, University of Michigan, Stanford University, Navajo Technical University

Australia: University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Curtin University

Canada: University of Toronto, University of Quebec in Montreal, University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières, University of Calgary, McGill University, University of British Columbia