Assistant Professor Su Yan Receives $400K Grant from U.S. Department of Energy for Fossil Fuel Conversion

Dr. Yan at DoE 2021

Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor Su Yan, Ph.D., recently received a $400K grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) for his research on “Multiphysics and Multiscale Simulation Methods for Electromagnetic Energy Assisted Fossil Fuel to Hydrogen Conversion.” Dr. Yan is working with Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Tao Wei, Ph.D., who will serve as his co-PI. Their team will also include researchers at the University of Houston.

This three-year DoE grant will help us initiate our research in this important area and build our research capacity. More importantly, it also provides us with necessary resources to educate and train several graduate students and undergraduate research assistants for them to participate in the learning and research of this topic. In our research, we will develop advanced methods that hybridize techniques from computational electromagnetics, thermal and fluid dynamics, molecular dynamics, and quantum chemistry, in order to improve and optimize the hydrogen production process,” said Dr. Yan.

The aim of this research is to develop novel methods that use electromagnetic energy to assist fossil fuel to hydrogen conversion. The team will target high-throughput, high-yield, and low-cost hydrogen generation so that hydrogen, as an important clean energy source, becomes more accessible to industry and also to the general public.

Fossil fuels comprise 80% of our current global primary energy demand, and the energy production and consumption are the source of approximately two-thirds of global CO2 emissions. It is critical to replace fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas with clean energy sources, such as solar, wind, nuclear, and hydrogen. With his research work, Dr. Yan believes that the conversion from fossil fuel to a cleaner energy source, like hydrogen, is a very promising path, if it can be done affordably, for which he is hopeful.

Read the DoE press release.


Research and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science