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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Advanced Hydrogen Storage Technologies for Fuel Cell Vehicles

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Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) present an opportunity for a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) with advantages over the better-known electric vehicle (EV). With hydrogen (H2) gas refueling that has an energy transfer that is comparable to liquid petroleum-based fuels, FCVs can be refueled in 3-5 min, which is noticeably faster than EV recharging. Further, the refueling can take place using the established centralized refueling station paradigm, thereby allowing prospective those living in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) to easily own ZEVs. The biggest obstacle is the production and transport of the H2 gas. However, a lesser-known obstacle is the storage of the H2 gas on board the FCV. Contemporary, commercialized FCVs use compressed H2 gas in cylindrical tanks. This tank design is bulky and poses problems from a packaging standpoint. There remains considerable opportunity for an improved H2 storage design.

This research opportunity involves surveying the various H2 storage technologies that have been researched and determining which, if any, show promise for further development. Once the superior technology has been identified, an FCV will be designed in CAD that incorporates the various components of the powertrain in addition to the selected H2 storage technology. The CAD model will be analyzed for structural and thermal stability, and the design freedom afforded by the selected H2 storage technology will be explored. The sponsoring professor is Dr. Jeffrey Wishart from the Automotive Systems Concentration at The Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and industry sponsor is Nikola Motors.

The result of the research will be a comprehensive review of the state of the art for H2 storage technology as well as a proof-of-concept design for the most promising technology.

This is a Fall 2022 project.  Submit your resume and Contact the sponsoring professor (Dr. Jeffrey Wishart) at


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