New blue hydrogen project scores funding to explore Wyoming’s H2 economy potential

New blue hydrogen project scores funding to explore Wyoming’s H2 economy potential

October 11, 2023 0 By Erin Kilgore

The University of Wyoming has been selected to receive financial support for H2 research.

A University of Wyoming (UW) research team has received $693,514 in funding from the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) for a new blue hydrogen project, to support their efforts to create a new hydrogen economy in the state.

The project focuses on nuclear powered hydrogen production.

The project – “Advancing Blue Hydrogen Production and Transport Infrastructure in Wyoming” – examines the economic, technical, environmental, social and policy issues related to producing nuclear hydrogen in Wyoming from conventional and renewable gas resources.

The project phase will be led by UW faculty and researchers from the university’s Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management and the School of Energy Resources (SER), in collaboration with Western Wyoming Community College, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, and Idaho National Laboratory. The project phase is expected to be completed by the end of 12 months.

“The diverse backgrounds and expertise represented in this group are extremely advantageous as we advance this project,” said Haibo Zhai, a UW professor, the Roy and Caryl Cline Distinguished Chair in Engineering, and the project leader. “In order for there to be any kind of success for a new hydrogen economy, we must simultaneously address the social impacts and educational infrastructure at all levels as we continue to develop the technology. This team is well positioned to address the training needs essential to putting Wyoming on the leading edge of this energy sector.”

An important part of the blue hydrogen project is related to education and workforce training.

A major focus of the blue hydrogen project is to explore Wyoming’s potential to sustainably develop a hydrogen hub. However, another major focal point is developing an educational and workforce training program to accompany the state’s hydrogen industry.

Blue hydrogen - Jobs and Education

“Embracing the hydrogen future is not just a shift in the energy sector but a leap toward sustainability and potential prosperity for Wyoming,” said Eugene Holubnyak, director of UW’s Hydrogen Energy Research Center. “As we unlock the potential of hydrogen, it becomes imperative to invest in education and empower our workforce to navigate this transformative era.”

The hope is to advance the project.

hydrogen news ebookThe research team hopes that their new blue hydrogen project, which was launched in September, will be a success. If it is, the team will seek to advance the project toward implementing long-term, transformational strategies to further benefit Wyoming.

According to Zhai, “Hydrogen has a potentially crucial role in Wyoming’s transition to a net-zero emissions economy. Investment in clean hydrogen can foster new technological and business developments and create job opportunities in the clean energy industry.”

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