As gasoline prices soar, alternative fuel research grows in popularity

Aug 23, 2005

Alternative fuel research is becoming increasingly important to Americans as the nation’s drivers continue to cringe at the sight of rising prices at the gas pumps.

Hybrid cars are growing in popularity, endorsed by celebrities and environmental activists alike, but these earth-friendly (and wallet-friendly) gasoline-electric vehicles soon may not be the only viable option for consumers. Though it might seem futuristic, hydrogen is being touted as the world’s next petroleum – and ASU’s Cody Friesen is helping to turn this theory into reality.

Friesen, a new professor in the departments of Chemical & Materials Engineering and Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering within the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program to fund his research in understanding and developing nanoscale materials for hydrogen storage and fuel cells.

“There are three main technological roadblocks that must be overcome for any potential hydrogen economy to come about,” Friesen says. “These are hydrogen production, hydrogen storage and hydrogen use.”

Hydrogen for automotive uses can be derived from a number of sources, including coal and nuclear power. The difficult part is finding the best way to transport, store and most efficiently incorporate the hydrogen into everyday life without the need for constant refueling or the disruption of a car’s performance.

Friesen is combining experimental and computational efforts, using highly sensitive and specialized instruments to assist him in his work. He also has been making preliminary calculations using the new Fulton High Performance Computing Center at ASU.

“The funding is for three years, but I expect this program will develop into a longer-term project,” he says. “My program is a new approach to catalyst research.”

While most proposals are collaborations between two or three researchers, Friesen had the determination to stand out on his own as the sole originator on the proposal he submitted to the DOE program. Though this often can be problematic, Friesen’s originality and talent won out – an accomplishment that anyone can appreciate.

Explore further: Sapphire talk enlivens guesswork over iPhone 6

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: China to declare Qualcomm a monopoly

1 hour ago

(AP)—Chinese regulators have concluded Qualcomm Inc., one of the biggest makers of chips used in mobile devices, has a monopoly, a government newspaper reported Friday.

Scientists stalk coastal killer

2 hours ago

For much of Wednesday, a small group of volunteers and researchers walked in and out of the surf testing a new form of surveillance on the biggest killer of beach swimmers - rip currents.

Recommended for you

Sapphire talk enlivens guesswork over iPhone 6

10 hours ago

Sapphire screens for the next iPhone? Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness scratch-proof properties, used in making LEDs, missiles sensors, and on screens for luxury-tier phones. Last year, the ...

Startup offers elderly an Internet key to family links

23 hours ago

Two grandmothers mystified by computer tablets have inspired a French-Romanian startup to develop an application and service to help the elderly stay in touch with their relatives through the Internet.

User comments : 0