Sustainable Energy Sources, Processes, Products and Environmental Remediation
Fuel Cell - Energy Technology of the Future
Fuel cells are at the forefront of technologies that hold immense promise for electricity production in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner. The underlying theme of the research currently undertaken is to aid the development of efficient, robust and cheaper fuel cells and associated system components.
Various aspects of fuel cell research and development are being addressed through a combination of experimental work and mathematical modeling studies. Current fuel cell research activities include: the development of novel catalysts to allow usage of alternate and biomass-derived fuels in solid oxide fuel cells, exploitation of nanotechnology to design new electrodes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, use of electric fields and nanomaterials to engineer fuel cell component materials with directional properties, development of mathematical models for fuel cell electrodes, design of integrated heat exchanger-catalytic burner for fuel cell systems, evaluation of alternative processes for chemical storage of hydrogen, fabrication of thin electrolytes and metal support, electrochemical characterization of fuel cell behaviour, and fundamental electrochemical kinetic studies of solid oxide cathode reactions.
Complementary research in the area of computational fluid dynamics, electro-catalysis, fuel processing, hydrogen storage, nanomaterials, and laser machining are being carried out as a part of a much larger fuel cell initiative in Kingston. Several of these projects are collaborative in nature and involve researchers from the Royal Military College and the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department of Queen's University.
Sustainable solutions in the plastics industry
In recent years the production and use of bioplastics has seen explosive growth driven by environmental concerns, waste disposal challenges and perceived future problems with the supply of petroleum products. Our research has the objective to develop economically viable, solvent-free, environmentally friendly processes to obtain fully bio-based products, with excellent engineering properties that can gain wide-spread consumer acceptance, while providing a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution. Applications are envisioned in automotive, packaging and foam processing. Students who are interested in conducting research in the area of sustainable polymers can apply to work toward a Collaborative Master’s in Applied Sustainability.