The University of Warwick is one of several partners to benefit from £11 million funding as part of a new hydrogen research hub.
The UK Hub for Research Challenges in Hydrogen and Alternative Liquid Fuels (UK-HyRES) will pave the way for the UK’s future approach to hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels (H&ALFs). It aims to become an international leader in hydrogen research and to deliver practical hydrogen and alternative liquid fuel technologies that are safe and sustainable.
Hydrogen and hydrogen-based low-carbon liquid fuels, such as ammonia, are essential for the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Hydrogen is a highly versatile energy vector suitable for use in many hard-to-decarbonize sectors where other energy options, such as electricity, are not suitable.
The UK-HyRES Hub will identify, prioritize, and deliver solutions to research challenges that will accelerate the take-up of hydrogen and alternative liquid fuels. This hub will also provide a network and collaboration platform to tackle research challenges that underpin the production, storage distribution, and end-use of H&ALFs.
The hub’s unique structure has been developed to deliver maximum impact – focusing on different technical themes:
- Production, storage, and distribution of hydrogen
- End use and alternative liquid fuels
- Environmental, economic and social sustainability
Alongside Warwick, the hub involves The University of Bath, The University of Sheffield, University College London, the University of Portsmouth, St Andrews University, and the University of Surrey. It will be led by the University of Bath’s Professor Tim Mays, the UK-HyRES also includes Professor Shanwen Tao from Warwick’s School of Engineering who is a Hub Co-Director and leads the Alternative Liquid Fuels theme.
Professor Tao said: “Hydrogen and Alternative Liquid Fuels will be a hugely important part of the future as the UK moves towards net zero and it’s important to work out where, when, and how it makes sense to produce, transport, and use these fuels. I am very excited to co-direct the UK-HyRES Hub and lead on the Alternative Fuels theme.”
A pipeline of national, interdisciplinary research projects that can deliver practical H&ALF technologies will also be coordinated by the UK-HyRES team. This will include efforts to de-couple fossil fuels from our energy system and deliver greener energy for transport, heating, power, and industrial decarbonization. The team will develop UK-HyRES into a global center of excellence and impact in hydrogen and alternative liquid fuel research within its five-year funding window and into the future.
Total funding for UK-HyRES now exceeds £26 million following other supporting investments from the core university partners and industrial and civic collaborators. These include the West of England Combined Authority, Ceres Power, GKN Aerospace, the Health and Safety Executive, INEOS Technologies, the Western Gateway Partnership, and Siemens Energy.
The funding comes as part of a wider £53 million investment announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This is spread across six separate research hubs that will boost knowledge, innovation, and new technologies to decarbonize the energy sector.
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI, said: “The government has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, requiring rapid decarbonization of our energy systems. UKRI is leveraging its ability to work across disciplines to support this ambition through a major portfolio of investments that will catalyze innovation and new green energy systems.
“The funding announced today will support researchers and innovators to develop game-changing ideas to improve domestic, industrial, and transport energy systems.”