1 November, 2021
Principal Investigator, Associate Professor Geoffrey Waterhouse from the University of Auckland, aims to advance Aotearoa New Zealand’s path to a Green Hydrogen Economy, whereby hydrogen is generated from water with renewable electricity, with the hydrogen produced then used in fuel cells to generate electricity as required.
Enabling this pursuit, Associate Professor Waterhouse was recently awarded one of three 2021 James Cook Research Fellowships, which are managed by Royal Society Te Apārangi with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The fellowships are awarded to researchers who have achieved national and international recognition in their area of scientific research. The fellowships allow them to concentrate on a major piece of research for two years without the additional burden of administrative and teaching duties. The funding package annually is $100,000 plus GST and up to $10,000 plus GST in relevant expenses.
With this fellowship, Associate Professor Waterhouse's research titled ‘Catalysing the Decarbonisation of New Zealand's Energy Sector’ will explore the potential of a new type of catalyst – metal single-atom catalysts – for driving the oxygen evolution and oxygen reduction reactions needed for these energy conversion reactions. He has early findings which suggest that single-atom systems containing inexpensive elements (such as iron, cobalt, nickel) offer remarkable oxygen reduction and evolution performance, comparable to traditional precious metal catalysts (based on platinum and iridium, respectively). Building on this work, a series of inexpensive single-atom systems will be fabricated and tested for their oxygen reduction and evolution performance, then applied in prototype water electrolysers and hydrogen fuel cells (as well as metal-air batteries).
Congratulations to Associate Professor Waterhouse!