Hydrogen energy research

The UK Research Councils’ SUPERGEN programme has launched a £5m UK initiative to support the development of technology to produce hydrogen energy


The UK Research Councils’ SUPERGEN programme has launched a £5m UK initiative to support the development of technology that produces clean, cheap and sustainable hydrogen energy.


The Delivery of Sustainable Hydrogen (H-Delivery) interdisciplinary research team consists of physical scientists, engineers and social scientists from 13 UK universities.


The consortium will undertake research into advanced methods for the chemical and electrical generation of sustainable hydrogen and the conversion of hydrogen and associated by-products into alternative industrial feedstocks and fuels.


It will also examine the socio-economic appraisal of novel hydrogen production technologies and policy measures to promote the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, hydrogen economy.


Prof Christopher Whitehead from Manchester University’s School of Chemistry will lead a group that will investigate the use of non-thermal plasma technology combined with suitable catalysts to extract hydrogen from methane in natural gas and biogas.


Whitehead said: ‘Hydrogen energy is believed to have a significant role to play in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and energy security.


‘However, existing methods of hydrogen production are not currently cost-competitive with fossil fuels.


‘An important component of the H-Delivery consortia’s work will be to raise the public profile of hydrogen energy research through knowledge transfer and outreach activities.’


As well as the 13 major universities, 12 industrial partners will initially work on the project, with further participants expected to join the consortia as the work develops.