Hydrogen research to pave way for Centres of Excellence


The University of Bath is to lead research into hydrogen and alternative low carbon fuels, with the aim of building a national Centre of Excellence.

The University of Bath announced that the project will explore how the UK could increase its use of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels as part of the 2050 net zero commitment, specifically exploring how to tackle the challenges that block their use. Professor Tim Mays, who heads up Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering, will lead the project, and will become one of two UK Hydrogen Research Coordinators. These coordinators, the other being Professor Sara Walker at Newcastle University, leading a project looking into better systems integration of these fuels, will aim to establish national Centres of Excellence over the next six months, based at their home institutions.

The coordinator project team will engage stakeholders and use a “theory of change” process, allowing them to map the greatest research challenges, as well as potential solutions to these challenges and their impacts. Their focus will be on the potential for these fuels to decarbonise land, water and air transport, electricity generation and domestic and industrial heating, along with high CO2 emitting industries, including the manufacture of steel, cement, glass and fertilisers. These areas make up 90% of UK greenhouse gas emissions collectively, meaning the potential impact of the project is substantial to support the UK in reaching its 2050 net zero goals.

Professor Mays said: “A thriving, low carbon hydrogen sector is essential for the government’s plans to build back better, with a cleaner, greener energy system. Large amounts of low carbon hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels such as ammonia will be needed, which must be stored and transported to points of use. Much research is required, and we will work collaboratively across multiple disciplines to help meet these challenges.”