One method of reducing fossil fuel consumption is to look at alternative methods of storing and transporting energy.
Fuel cells are the most efficient devices known for converting a range of fuels into electricity and, in some cases, heat. They also enable the efficient use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and bio-fuels. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electrical energy without combustion. Likewise other fuels such as hydrogen could be used as a direct replacement for petrol and diesel in our vehicles. However, many technical obstacles need to be overcome if these technologies are to enter widespread use. We have also allocated funding for a doctoral training centre in hydrogen and fuel cells at the University of Birmingham.
Our funding will allow us to continue and further build on the strong UK research base in this area. This will help deliver future transport technologies such as hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles, and high efficiency combined heat and power units using stationary fuel cells.