Florida Solar Energy Center Researchers Receive Honor at the 15th World Hydrogen Energy Conference

Dr. Ali T-Raissi and Dr. Cunping Huang of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) received the Innovative Technology Award at the 15th World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Yokohama, Japan earlier this month. The award was presented to the hydrogen research scientists for their work on “A New Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting Cycle for Hydrogen Production.” It was the only award presented to research scientists from the U.S.

The World Hydrogen Energy Conference provided a setting for scientists to present their research on methods to provide the world with clean energy, including a new paradigm featuring hydrogen. The budding hydrogen economy will be brought about by emerging science and technologies such as those featured at the conference.

The research conducted by Drs. Huang and Raissi was initially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. It is now part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant for a hydrogen research and development program funded by NASA Glenn Research Center, involving research at several Florida universities. The program is managed by FSEC.

Dr. Huang, principal investigator for this project, said, “I am honored to receive this award. To have my work recognized by the leaders of this conference is, indeed, an honor.” Dr. Raissi added that “This is a real honor for us since our work was recognized by the scientific committee of WHEC-15 and especially the committee’s chair Professor Hideo Kameyama, who is the world-renowned researcher in the thermochemical hydrogen production arena and the inventor of the famous UT-3 cycle.”

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, but on earth, it is chemically reactive and exists at normal conditions in combination with other elements such as oxygen in water or carbon in natural gas. This leads to a technical problem with hydrogen: it must be produced or extracted from the compound in which it is contained. In the long term, hydrogen must be produced from sustainable resources such as solar energy and water. In their research, Drs. Raissi and Huang address the production of hydrogen through high-temperature thermochemical water-splitting cycles.

The use of thermochemical water-splitting cycles (TCWSCs) employing solar energy as a heat source is an innovative approach to produce hydrogen. It presents a viable option for the future production of hydrogen. TCWSCs can be highly efficient processes compared to other hydrogen production methods based on water splitting.

Several presentations submitted by FSEC researchers were presented at the conference. To view their presentations, please visit http://www.hydrogenresearch.org/WHEC15.htm The Florida Solar Energy Center is the largest and most active state-supported renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development organization in the United States and functions as the State’s energy research and training center. For more information about FSEC’s hydrogen research programs, visit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/hydrogen or call FSEC Public Information Office at (321) 638-1015 or go to http://www.fsec.ucf.edu.