Attraction of the leading scientists to Russian institutions of higher learning, research organizations of the governmental academies of sciences, and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation

International Research and Education Laboratory of Hydrogen Power Production Technology

About the laboratory

Laboratory's goal:
To advance fundamental and applied research in hydrogen power engineering technologies, material science for hydrogen power engineering, physics of condensed matter, physics of plasma and plasma technologies in accordance with the world's top standards.

This laboratory was established as part of a scientific research project supported with a monetary grant awarded by the Government of the Russian Federation under a grant competition designed to provide governmental support to scientific research projects implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists at Russian institutions of higher learning, research institutions of the governmental academies of sciences and governmental research centers of the Russian Federation (Resolution of the RF Government No.220 of April 9, 2010) and accounted for by decision of the Academic Board of the Tomsk Polytechnic University No.10 of December 3, 2010.

Link to official website

Grant Agreement No.: 11.G34.31.0003

Host institution of higher learning:
State educational institution of higher professional education "National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University"

Scientific research area:
Energy, energy efficiency, energy saving

Project goal:
To create the International Research and Education Laboratory of Hydrogen Power Production Technology

Key project objectives:
To conduct fundamental and applied research in one of the priority science and technology development areas of the Russian Federation (energy and energy saving).

Anticipated project outputs:
1. The project will provide science and production with highly skilled specialists in the field of hydrogen power engineering technologies and power supply systems based on reusable power sources;
2. The project will commercialize high technologies to implement local power supply projects;
3. The project will use the experiences of Iceland and other countries in implementation of hydrogen power engineering technologies and in creation of conditions required to train the workforce capable of ensuring ecological and energy safety of contemporary society.

Leading scientist

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Leading scientist's full name: Thorsteinn Ingi Sigfusson

Link to leading scientist's profile

Academic degree and title:
Doctor of natural sciences, professor

Job titles:
Director General of the Innovation Center Iceland, professor of physics at the University of Iceland.

Field of scientific interests:
1. Hydrogen power production research in Iceland.
2. Weakening of hydrogen bonds in water under the influence of microwave electromagnetic radiation.
3. Utilization of geothermal resources for power and heat production.
4. The leading scientist has generated a number of original ideas associated with alternative power sources (renewable power sources based on hydroelectricity, geothermal heat, wind, ocean tides, biomass ("energetic farmer" project)).

Scientific recognition:
- Scandinavian Technology Prize (1988);
- International "Global Energy" Prize (for the project "Research in implementation of hydrogen power engineering in Iceland", 2007).

Results

Principal research results of the International Research and Education Laboratory of Hydrogen Power Production Technology in 2010-2012:
1. The project team has manufactured plasma beam equipment and software to be used for production of multilayered solid oxide fuel cells. The maximum power density of the fuel cells manufactured using the aforementioned method amounted to 200 – 250 mW/cm2 at 650°С. That is several times the power density of the fuel cells with carrying electrolyte operated in such conditions.
2. The project team has manufactured a testing bench for fabrication and research of laminated fuel cell structures and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) batteries. The testing bench and the plasma beam equipment are ready for commercialization.
3. The project team has manufactured a piece of laboratory equipment for laser beam treatment and magnetron-assisted application of protective coating to metals and alloys used in hydrogen power engineering infrastructure.
This equipment:
o Cleans the surface of specimens using an ionic beam;
o Applies protective and modifying coatings to the surfaces of materials under research.

Laser beam treatment significantly extends the operating resource of materials that interact with hydrogen.

4. The project team has designed a new type of ion-exchange membranes for fuel cells whose technological and economic parameters are higher than their analogues elsewhere in the world. This was made possible thanks to the utilization of the unique equipment created at TPU – the R7M cyclotron and ESG 2.5 electrostatic generator.
5. The project team has designed methods of accumulating hydrogen in submicrocrystalline titanium samples and low-temperature removal of hydrogen and restoration of the functional properties of construction materials.
6. The university now offers a newly introduced "Hydrogen power engineering" program of study designed specifically for master's degree students specializing in physics.

According to Professor T. I. Sigfusson, the leading scientist and the Director General of the Innovation Center Iceland:
"I hope to see the establishment of the "Russian Fuel Cell Corporation" (RFCC) that will enable Russia to stop depending on natural gas supplies, start manufacturing fuel cells, and become the leading supplier of fuel cells that transform natural gas into highly potent thermal and electrical power. This will provide Russia and other countries with an energy module that will simultaneously supply homes with heat and electricity.

The news is that the organizers of the Hannover Fair in Germany invited me, alongside the TPU team, to join them on April 24 to celebrate the "Russia Day". A group of 12 experts and I accepted the invitation and used the opportunity to present our project outputs. We also approached a number of potential clients and partners that may enable us to make the next steps in the development of the Russian fuel cell industry. We received a participation diploma and an invitation to take part in the Hannover Fair 2013".

 

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