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University to play a major role in unlocking the power of hydrogen

02 December 2008

Cardiff is currently the only Welsh university playing a part in a major new UK initiative working towards the production of clean, low cost, sustainable hydrogen energy.

Professor Neil McKeown, a Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry, is linking up with scientists from 12 other universities across Scotland and England to form the Delivery of Sustainable Hydrogen (H-Delivery) consortium.

The group has recently been awarded an initial £5M grant under the SUPERGEN initiative created by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to encourage the development of sustainable power generation and supply. 12 industrial partners have also joined the consortium with more expected to follow as work progresses.

Hydrogen energy is believed to have a significant role to play in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and energy security. The consortium will be undertaking interdisciplinary research into the advanced methods for the generation of sustainable hydrogen, the conversion of hydrogen into alternative industrial fuel, and policy measures for the promotion of transition to a sustainable, low-carbon hydrogen economy.

A leading academic in the field of hydrogen research, Professor McKeown was awarded this year’s Beilby Medal and Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry for his discovery of porous organic polymers which allow hydrogen molecules to be stored safely for use as a carbon-free fuel in cars.

Professor McKeown said: "This is an exciting field to be working in at the moment as the UK needs serious improvements in the generation and supply of sustainable energy. The development of new technologies capable of producing clean hydrogen energy would go a long way towards meeting those needs".