Day 2 :
Tier I Canada Research Chair & Professor at University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Time : 09:00-09:30
Jerzy A. Szpunar received his PhD and DSc. degrees from Academy of Mining and Metallurgy in Cracow. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in August 2009, as Tier I Canada Research Chair. He came from McGill University where he was of Materials Science and Birks Chair in Metallurgy. His research interests extend to various areas of materials related investigations. In particular he has longstanding interests in deformation and recrystallization processes in metals; in structure and properties of thin films; in electronic interconnects; in high temperature oxidation and corrosion; in synergy of wear, erosion and corrosion; in the applications of X-ray and neutron diffraction techniques to structure of grain boundaries and other interfaces; in hydrogen ingress into nuclear materials; in hydrogen generation and storage: in intergranular fractures; in fatigue and failure; properties of nanocrystalline materials and properties of nuclear materials and nuclear fuel. He was a leader of 49 major research projects – mostly materials related investigations. The results of his research are presented in more than 950 research papers including about 600 journal publications.
Hydrogen has been recognized as a clean and sustainable fuel. However, still many problems have to be to be solved in the area of generation, transport, and storage of this fuel for the future hydrogen-based economy to be realized. The reaction of water with activated aluminum powder is considered as one of the methods to generate hydrogen. The reaction produces also aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH) 3 or AlOOH) as the byproduct; these compounds change to alumina (Al2O3) after calcination process, and alumina can produce aluminum. Hydrogen production rate can be increased if an effective surface area of aluminum exposed to oxidation is increased. Ball milling process is considered as a method that remarkably changes the microstructure of morphology of aluminum hydroxides and can produce submicron or nano-sized particles. We found that microstructural refinement can be used to promote the reaction and allow increasing the production of hydrogen. The addition of water-soluble salts (potash or salt) also allows increasing the oxidation rate and hydrogen generation. However, we discovered that the presence of salt had much smaller influence than microstructural modifications. The traditional shrinking core model was modified to explain the kinetics of the reaction between aluminum particles and the fluid. The storage of hydrogen will also require structural modification of the storage system. One a storage system that was developed by us will be discussed. We designed a Pd-graphene composite for hydrogen storage with spherical shaped nanoparticles of 45 nm size homogeneously distributed over a graphene substrate. This new hydrogen storage system has attractive features like high gravimetric density, ambient conditions of hydrogen charge and low temperature of the hydrogen discharge. The palladium particles produce a low activation energy barrier to dissociate hydrogen molecules These Pd particles, have to be nano-size and homogeneously dispersed on the graphene surface, to serve as efficient hydrogen receptors and further facilitate a dissociation and diffusion of hydrogen and storage in graphene via a spillover process. The hydrogen storage capacity in such a combined metal-graphene system could be significantly increased compared to storage in graphene or in metal. In this project, we optimized the structure of Pd/graphene to allows a hydrogen uptake at ambient conditions and discharging of hydrogen at low temperature. Detailed analysis of the mechanism of hydrogen storage using ab-into calculation for graphene metal system is presented.
Head of Renewable Energy Technology Center & Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, USA
Time : 09:30-10:00
Sanjeev Mukerjee is a college distinguished professor in the department of chemistry and chemical biology and heads the Renewable Energy Technology Center at Northeastern University. He has authored 160 papers in peer reviewed journals and has an H-factor of 65. He holds 9 patents and has enabled several start up companies with membership on their scientific advisory committee.
This presentation will focus on durable, high-performance materials and interfaces for advanced water splitting, enabling a clear pathway for achieving <$2/KgH2 (on scale) with efficiency of 43 KWh/Kg using anion exchange membrane interface. Advances via fundamental understanding of both hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions (HER/OER) leading to novel materials will be in conjunction with critical improvements in membrane and ionomers and gas evolution electrodes with corresponding characterization and testing. Progress towards these goals under a three-year multifaceted and comprehensive effort will be described wherein Northeastern University (NEU) will present catalyst development and characterization (both in situ and ex situ). University of Delaware (UD) will showcase improvements in ionomer and membrane materials. In addition, close collaboration with National Laboratory partners with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) participating in multiscale modeling and computation in close concert with Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) providing MD simulations of the membrane catalyst interface and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) providing advanced ionomers, durability protocols and validation will be described.
Anion exchange membrane electrolyzers (AEMELs) are ideally suited with a low-cost profile enabled by platinum group metal (PGM)-free catalysts, low fluorine content membranes, and a less corrosive environment for cell separators. This presentation will showcase state of the art stable, high-conductivity, and high-strength AEMs, stable and active PGM-free catalysts for hydrogen and oxygen evolution reaction (HER/OER), and high performance electrode architectures that together can unlock the cost advantages of AEMELs. If successful, the developed technology can meet FCTO efficiency targets, delivering carbon-neutral hydrogen at $2/kg while simultaneously enabling higher penetrations of wind and PV electricity on the grid.
The overall goal is cell level performance of 1.62 V at 1 A/cm2, which meets the FCTO efficiency target of 43 kWh/kg. Component performance targets have been established using a porous electrode model to support the overall cell performance target. This is at the modeled scale of 50,000 kg/day and operating at 1 A/cm2 resulting in hydrogen cost at $2.15, $1.82, or $1.76/kg, respectively (2, 20, 200 plants). In the low-volume manufacturing case, it is still possible to meet the cost target by operating near 2 A/cm2, sacrificing some efficiency.
Program Manager at the Fuel Cell Technologies Office - U.S. Department of Energy, USA
Time : 10:00-10:30
Dr. Eric L. Miller serves as Hydrogen Production and Delivery Program Manager at the Fuel Cell Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. His professional career in alternative energy research has spanned more than 25 years, centering on solar energy conversion and on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. He is widely recognized as a world leader in photoelectrochemical hydrogen production for his pioneering research in this field. Recently, Dr. Miller has played an instrumental role in the launch and management of DOE’s Energy Materials Network, which aims to accelerate materials discovery and development critical to a broad spectrum of key clean energy technologies.
Today the technology around generating efficient and sustainable energy is rapidly evolving and hydrogen and fuel cells are versatile examples within a portfolio of options. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) addresses key technical barriers faced by hydrogen and fuel cell technologies through a comprehensive portfolio of early-stage research and development (R&D) with the potential to meet DOE technical, economic and energy security targets that ensure competitiveness with incumbent technologies in the market and alignment with national priorities. This presentation will provide an overview of DOE FCTO early-stage R&D activities in hydrogen and fuel cells, highlight technology status versus targets and identify recent achievements and market trends. The presentation will also offer insight into future prospects of hydrogen and fuel cells to enable energy security and resiliency across the transportation and energy generation sectors. Examples include the value proposition of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies as well as the potential of DOE’s [email protected] concept to utilize hydrogen as a large-scale energy carrier to enable benefits across multiple sectors. Supporting foundational materials research in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies being conducted through FCTO’s Energy Materials Network Consortia will also be described.