At the University of Regina in Canada, Christian Nwosu is striving towards cheap and abundant hydrogen fuel – he tells us all about his methods and what inspires him.
Given our overdependence on fossil fuels and the excessive production of greenhouse gases, the quest for alternative sources of energy has become very popular. Hydrogen is a clean and renewable source of energy that has been identified as an important alternative.
My work focuses on the development of a nickel-based catalyst with high stability and activity, for the production of hydrogen gas via crude glycerol reforming. We are investigating the effects of multiple variables on hydrogen gas production, including reaction temperature, steam to carbon ratio, crude feed flow rate, and catalyst size and weight.
Crude glycerol is the major waste product of biodiesel production with a lot of impurities, resulting in high purification costs. Therefore, it is important to develop a production process that does not require this valuable raw material to be purified. I am inspired by the idea of developing a strong, stable catalyst that would ensure the in situ conversion of crude glycerol to a clean, cheap, and abundant hydrogen fuel.
A spokesperson for a global car manufacturer recently said the company is preparing for a hydrogen-powered society. My desire is to contribute to this by ensuring an abundant production of cheap hydrogen gas so that companies like this can mass produce hydrogen-powered cars in Canada and the rest of the world.
Q: What kind of mindset do you need to achieve the Next Great Impossible?
A: In order to meet goals and overcome challenges associated with great projects such as this, one must have a mindset of growth and action. You must be determined and motivated to succeed.