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University Plays Role in Clean Hydrogen Hub Application

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Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas recently received approval to submit a full application for a HALO Hydrogen Hub for the development, production and use of hydrogen as fuel and manufacturing feedstock.

The U.S. Department of Energy encouraged the states’ governors to submit an application on behalf of their tri-state partnership. This is the second phase of DOE’s application process. The first was an initial broad concept pitch made last fall.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is one of several universities in Louisiana playing a major role in this initiative, thanks to its position as a global leader in both alternative and traditional energies, said Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, UL Lafayette’s vice president for Research, Innovation and Economic Development.

“As a top-tier, R1 research institution, we have a responsibility to support our state and region, and we have the capacity to provide that support,” he said.

Hydrogen is used in many manufacturing processes, and is increasingly tapped as a clean-burning fuel that helps reduce carbon emissions.

The University’s numerous sustainable energy capabilities include a hydrogen research program across several departments and centers equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories for field-scale research.

Last year, UL Lafayette broke ground on Antoun Hall, a new 4,500-square-foot building next to the University’s 1.1 MW Louisiana Solar Energy Lab, at University Research Park. The lab serves as a hub for solar research, technology development, instruction, training, outreach and workforce development.

The University is also home to the Energy Institute of Louisiana’s Cleco Alternative Energy Center where researchers explore ways to generate power by using renewable resources. Technologies and processes examined at the center include solar thermal, biomass-fed gasification, and anaerobic digestion, all of which can be implemented in the production of hydrogen.

“We have the infrastructure and expertise to build upon our longstanding success in training engineers, scientists, and other professionals to influence and bolster hydrogen production, utilization and storage,” said Kolluru.

The Department of Energy’s program will allocate up to $7 billion to develop six to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs for the production, processing, delivery, storage, and end-use of clean hydrogen. The goal is to create a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential consumers and connective infrastructure located in close proximity.

The application deadline is April 7. The energy department is expected to announce funding recipients later this year.