Low-carbon technologies are being developed to address an urgent need to meet our energy needs while reducing the impact on our climate. Hydrogen offers a solution for cleaner energy production and the hydrogen economy is developing at an increasing pace. There is a need for more hydrogen production to support the decarbonisation of the national gas grid, manufacturing, transport and heat production.

The HyDEX partnership brings together a combined resource of around £55m worth of hydrogen demonstrator and research facilities across the Midlands region. Through the HyDEX activity and funding, these facilities are being made available to help businesses develop skills, products and services, accelerating the rapidly growing hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen Storage Tanks, concept

Aston University

Aston University has a specialism in production methods urgently needed to provide a reliable, affordable and green supply of hydrogen.

This includes the production of hydrogen from gasification processes, including biomass. By optimising production, through catalysis and integrating conversion methods such as methanol conversion, the process can be enhanced.

Contact EBRI at Aston University.

Aston also has expertise in methods of reducing the impact of hydrogen production, for example through Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Hydrogen purity is a critical factor for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell performance and longevity.

Aston have expertise and facilities for testing and developing fuel cells with commercial applications in heating and transport.

Fuel Cells & Hydrogen at Aston University

The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is working with Tyseley Energy Park and other partners in the Midlands to pioneer infrastructure solutions in renewable heat and power, energy storage, clean transport fuels in combination with advanced waste processing. The park features a hydrogen refuelling station, and HyDEX plans include the integration of an ammonia cracker.

A strong focus on local transport infrastructure supporting commercial fleet evolution will be supported with a new refuelling facility between Edgbaston and Tyseley.

Contact Dr Artur Majewski or Dr Yousif Al-Sagheer at the University of Birmingham.

Tyseley Energy Park – University of Birmingham

More information on the Tyseley Energy Park

Cranfield University

Cranfield University is home to the Hydrogen Research Network and the impressive HyPER project Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming). This collaboration between Cranfield University, GTI, and Doosan Babcock, is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme, to produce a 1.5 MWth plant that can produce higher purity, lower carbon and lower cost hydrogen from natural gas than conventional technologies.

Contact Dr Peter Clough for the HyPER project.

Contact Professor Upul Wijayantha for the Cranfield turquoise hydrogen production pilot demonstrator

Hyper hydrogen generation facility at Cranfield University

Keele University

Keele University is situated in North Staffordshire. The facilities at Keele offer an opportunity for businesses and organisations, to visit and learn about hydrogen implementation and operation particularly in high temperature manufacturing and heating applications.

Keele University is home to several leading energy-research projects, and leading expertise including:

  • Carbon Zero Rugeley as part of a consortium led by ENGIE to develop a Smart Local Energy System (SLES).
  • POLKA, Pollution Know-how and Abatement focusses on technical problems unique to hydrogen combustion: thermoacoustic instabilities and flashback. The ultimate vision of POLKA is to create new physical insight and advanced simulation tools to underpin the development of hydrogen-fuelled combustion systems (gas turbines, aero-engines, boilers furnaces, etc).

Through the HyDEX project, Keele will draw on this expertise and infrastructure to produce green hydrogen on site using a PEM electrolyser during periods when there is an excess of energy production from the on site energy park.

Contact Julian Read at Keele for more information about the university’s hydrogen facilities.

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is home to significant expertise in hydrogen storage solutions.

The group is one of the largest in the UK, with hydrogen demonstrators, and impressive, purpose built hydrogen laboratories, situated in the Research Acceleration and Demonstration building on the Jubilee Campus at the University of Nottingham.

A focus for HyDEX at the University of Nottingham is the development and demonstration of the “Flex Dual Fuel” demonstrator engine, which has the ability to flex between H2 and ammonia (NH3) dual fuelling as an advanced retrofit solution for existing heavy duty diesel engines, delivering hydrogen to a fuel cell and generating direct cooling for refrigeration.

The system would allow hydrogen power to become a key part of the UK’s sustainable energy future and to help decarbonise the UK’s food cold chain, which is responsible for 18% of the country’s total energy use. The technology will target commercial food operations where refrigeration can be responsible for 30-60% of electricity usage (1.2% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions). Under HyDEX the demonstrator engine will be modified to incorporate low-pressure, solid state hydrogen storage.

Contact Simon Gerrard at Nottingham for more information about the university’s hydrogen facilities.

Hydrogen Pipeline - concept

The University of Warwick

The University of Warwick are exploring and demonstrating how to use renewable sources to produce hydrogen.

A new green hydrogen production system being studied has been found to be more efficient than current methods of hydrogen production. Evaluation of the technical and economic performance is a core theme in this work which will scale up lab-scale innovative green hydrogen production to full commercial scale.

Contact Professor Sai Gu at Warwick for more details about the university’s hydrogen facilities.

Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out more about the HyDEX project, accessing facilities or discussing the skills needs in your sector, please get in touch.