The H2E Center is the focal point for multi-investigator activities at Penn State. These activities span several different colleges on the University Park campus, and include researchers that work in other centers and institutes at Penn State on energy related topics. The H2E Center researchers:
- Facilitated the development of all types of hydrogen-based (production and consumption) technologies
Help to promote the use of hydrogen for sustainable energy production
Work on the develop hydrogen production and fuel cell systems for conversion of biomass sources to energy
Create, advance and refine hydrogen storage technologies.
Our interest in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies is motivated by the need to reduce environmental pollution associated with combustion of fossil fuels and, and to conserve petroleum reserves in the United States. Hydrogen oxidation is inherently environmentally friendly as its reaction with oxygen produces harmless water. Hydrogen can be produced from renewable resources, such as water and agricultural products, eliminating the net production of CO2 and helping to alleviate global warming. New carbon-neutral and green methods of producing energy must be found, and hydrogen can be an important component of a new, sustainable energy infrastructure.
The transition to a hydrogen based “economy” has recently undergone a new resurgence in the USA based on both plug in and hydrogen electrical energy based automobiles. One of the biggest growth areas for hydrogen fuel cells is forklifts due to the rapid refueling rates compared to battery charging, and the safety associated with only water and the byproduct. Commercial production of hydrogen-based fuel cells continues to expand for various new applications including power for buses, homes, and businesses in the US and in Europe. Several automobiles are now producing hydrogen fueled vehicles, and there are now many more hydrogen refueling stations around the world. The European Union recently announced a new $2 billion dollar program in hydrogen technologies, and industrial investment continues in this important energy area.