Project: Research council

Project Details


The United Kingdom Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium (UK-SHEC), established in 2003 as part of the EPSRC SUPERGEN initiative, is a multi-partner, interdisciplinary, collaborative activity funded that aims, via fundamental and applied research in the sciences, engineering and socio-economics, to acquire knowledge and understanding of and to guide and inform the use and integration of sustainable hydrogen energy systems, nationally and internationally, and in partnership with industry, commerce and policymakers.UK-SHEC wishes to continue to develop UK-SHEC as a unique point of research, reference, expertise and training both within the UK and beyond by targeting many of the forefront, fundamental multidisciplinary research challenges in the production, storage and utilization of hydrogen energy. The research priorities identified in this proposal have the potential to create a step change in both storage technologies and sustainable methods of hydrogen generation. Furthermore, we will also study the feasibility and acceptability of sustainable hydrogen energy through a range of key socio / economic projects.The proposal is divided into two, linked elements, CORE and PLUS, as required by the EPSRC. The CORE element seeks renewal of baseline funding. The PLUS element seeks funding of additional workpackages that expand the scope and depth of existing activities and includes new partners and work that enhance and develop the CORE element. Both the CORE and PLUS elements are organised using an enhanced thematic approach covering sustainable hydrogen generation (Theme 1), storage in both chemical hydride and porous materials/inorganic systems (Themes 2), integrated systems which aim to link hydrogen production, storage and utilization (Theme 3), and finally socio-economics, especially aspects of demand and sustainability (Theme 4).The CORE element comprises workpackages, derived from, extending and further linking activities initiated in the original UK-SHEC proposal, and involving all original Consortium partners. Proposed research in the sciences and engineering includes scale-up of hydrogen production via biomass fermentation, the modification of surface chemistry and pore structure in nanomaterials and optimization of known and the search for new hydrogen storage materials. The science and engineering research in the PLUS element includes new groups working on massive-scale hydrogen production via thermochemical routes, and on developments in hydrogen fuel cells. In addition, key research in socio-economics in both CORE and PLUS, the latter involving unique collaboration amongst all four SUPERGEN consortia seeking renewal, will, amongst other areas, focus on aspects of hydrogen technology appraisal, for example establishing criteria to compare differing storage methods. This will necessarily involve close collaboration with science and engineering partners in the Consortium.Significant administrative support will be essential to ensure smooth and effective operation of the Consortium's wide-ranging activities. Accordingly, the management structure of UK-SHEC has been enhanced to include the introduction of Theme Leaders who together with the Management and Operations Directors will make up the Management Committee. This will monitor, guide and develop Consortium activities and strategy. A new Steering Committee comprising the Management Committee, all Consortium investigators and external members (including an independent Chair) will receive reports from, ratify decisions of and agree on actions to be implemented by the Management Committee. An Advisory Group comprising a pool of industrial, commercial and other key stakeholders will be invited to comment and advise on Consortium activities and strategy.
Effective start/end date1/07/0730/06/12


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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