With all the talk of California’s Hydrogen Highway system and fuel cell vehicle prototypes coming out of Detroit, Michigan one state that is often overlooked in hydrogen development has been South Carolina. But, South Carolina has been making a name for itself over the past 5 years when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cell research.
The University of South Carolina at Columbia is spearheading the Future Fuels Initiative, which is focusing on producing impurity-free hydrogen, developing metal hydride storage and developing more durable PEM fuel cells.
The university is part of the two-mile wide Greater Columbia Fuel Cell District that includes hydrogen production, distribution, storage and educational outreach sites. In addition, the university is a participant in the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge, which seeks to commercialize such technology.
Another South Carolina resource is the Center for Hydrogen Research (CHR) at Aiken, which is part of the Savannah River National Laboratory. CHR is devoted to researching and developing hydrogen production, storage and separation. CHR has developed patented methods for separating hydrogen from water and from other gases such as carbon monoxide.
The University of South Carolina and CHR have been attracting droves of college students and researchers who wish to get involved in developing the nation’s budding hydrogen transportation system and future hydrogen economy. Scientists and engineers young and old are starting to figure out that this is a career path that can last a lifetime.