Jay Sayre, the Director of Innovation at the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) and Research Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, will soon receive funding allowing researchers at The Ohio State University a new route in developing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of sustainability.
The one-year, $25,000 award from Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP) will help IMR refurbish and reinstate a fuel cell test station, expected to support new fuel cell programs at the university.
Additionally, the funding will allow open access to the state-of-the-art equipment, meaning students, faculty and staff at Ohio State will be able to utilize the station to conduct research and learn about this growing area.
Fuel cells are an alternative energy technology used for clean and highly efficient power generation. Applications range from electric vehicles to smaller electronics to buildings.
Hydrogen and fuel cells play a critical role in building a sustainable energy future, Sayre said. He leads the project with more than 20 years of experience in fuel cell technologies.
“There is a need to reduce the world’s use of natural gas and pure oil to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to low- and zero-carbon power generation,” Sayre said. “A fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity through an electrochemical reaction. Because the byproducts are only water and heat, there are no carbon emissions.”
The refurbished test station will be housed in Nanotech West Laboratory. At the shared, user facility on West Campus, the new tool will be available to engage students, faculty and staff, as well as enable new discoveries and inspire creative efforts that promote and evolve a culture of sustainability.
The test stations will also give undergraduate and graduate students additional learning and research opportunities at Ohio State. Through practical lab experience, users can work with fuel cell materials, components and systems to strengthen their understanding of sustainable energy components and systems.
In 2017, Ohio State and OSEP entered into a comprehensive and unprecedented energy management partnership. With it came the launch of a new energy efficiency program, as well as a commitment to academic collaboration.
Each year, OSEP contributes $810,000 to Ohio State or affiliated philanthropic causes. The Energy Academic Collaboration Council, working with OSEP, solicited proposals from faculty, staff and students to advance university priorities, and promote interdisciplinary and community collaboration.
IMR plans to provide supplemental funds for the refurbishment project, as well as assistance toward lab access fees and support for Nanotech West staff.
Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations
Follow: @OhioStateIMR | @IITB_OSU_FC