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: Google teams with Oxford to teach machines to think

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: Better shields needed for private tax data

51 minutes ago

Federal investigators say the IRS and the states should improve how they protect the security of confidential tax information of people getting benefits under the 2010 health care law.

Coal-rich Poland ready to block EU climate deal

54 minutes ago

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels to set their new greenhouse gas emissions plan are facing staunch opposition from coal-reliant Poland and other East European countries who say their economies would ...

Some online shoppers pay more than others, study shows

1 hour ago

Internet users regularly receive all kinds of personalized content, from Google search results to product recommendations on Amazon. This is thanks to the complex algorithms that produce results based on users' profiles and ...

Researchers create designer 'barrel' proteins

1 hour ago

Proteins are long linear molecules that fold up to form well-defined 3D shapes. These 3D molecular architectures are essential for biological functions such as the elasticity of skin, the digestion of food, ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0