Hydrogen and fuel cells

Fuel cells are the most efficient devices known for converting a range of fuels into electricity and, in some cases, heat. They also enable the efficient use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and bio-fuels. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electrical energy without combustion. Likewise other fuels such as hydrogen could be used as a direct replacement for petrol and diesel in our vehicles. However, many technical and socio-economic obstacles need to be overcome if these technologies are to enter widespread use.

This priority area focuses on the generation, distribution and storage of hydrogen; fuel cells; hydrogen and fuel cell systems. This should include the science, engineering and system issues together with the environmental and safety impacts of the technologies and their socio-economic aspects (including policy).

Proposals are invited for focused centres under this priority area only and are expected to include a level of industry involvement. It is up to the applicant to justify the level of industry involvement in their proposal. In order to link excellence in training with excellence in research, proposals are expected to link with EPSRC’s large research investments in this area such as the

Sustainable power generation and supply (SUPERGEN) Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Hub and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Grand challenges and are expected to provide details within the proposal as to how they plan to do this.

Any centre and its students are also expected to network with others addressing the energy challenge through the energy Centres for Doctoral Training network, appropriate resources should be requested to enable them to do this.