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Teesside University Collaborates with Industry Partners to Advance Net Zero Goals

A groundbreaking project being carried out by academics at Teesside University, in collaboration with partners in industry, is investigating the pivotal role of futuristic chemicals in achieving net zero emissions in the UK.

Image Credit: Teesside University

The University is working with Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and Frazer-Nash Consultancy on a feasibility study investigating the potential of using chemical hydrides as a means of storing hydrogen.

The project, called PATCH (Production and Long Term Containment of Hydrides), is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), an Ofgem programme managed in collaboration with Innovate UK.

Hydrogen, as a clean and efficient energy source, is seen as a key driver of the move to net zero.

However, in its pure form, hydrogen is volatile and can be difficult to store and transport safely.

Hydrides are chemicals composed of hydrogen and one or more other elements and can potentially be used as a safe storage medium for the gas.

Under the initiative, Teesside University will utilise the funding to conduct preliminary discovery phases essential for understanding the potential outcomes, challenges, and resource requirements for further development of chemical hydrides, as an alternative hydrogen storage medium.

The research aims to assess the market potential of using chemical hydrides as a storage vector for hydrogen, coupled with their production at industrial hubs, thereby reducing energy requirements and facilitating widespread storage distribution across the UK.

In doing so, the research aims to facilitate the just transition to net zero, accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future, while minimising costs and maximising benefits for networks, consumers, and society.

Teesside University, through its Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre, has established itself as a global hub of net zero expertise and is positioning Teesside firmly at the heart of the UK’s green industrial revolution.

Dr Faizan Ahmad, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Teesside University and principal investigator on the project, said: "At Teesside University, we are committed to leveraging our research expertise to pave the way for a cleaner, greener future.

“We are delighted to be part of this project, which promises to have a tangible impact on realizing the UK's net zero ambitions."

Nick Smith, Innovation Manager for Northern Gas Networks, said the project would play a significant role in supporting the company's commitment to delivering net zero emissions at the lowest possible cost.

He added: "As a gas network, we recognise our responsibility to our 6.8 million customers to drive progress towards net zero. This work is instrumental in helping us understand how we can achieve that goal efficiently and expediently."


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