Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a clean source of fuel that can be used to heat our homes, power industry and transport. The Energy Institute at the University of Sheffield has the facilities and expertise to enable the deployment of a UK hydrogen economy.

Why is hydrogen important?

Hydrogen could be used in place of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are needed to power our heavy industries, heat our homes and power our transport but they are responsible for four-fifths of global greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen when burned only emits water making it a valuable tool in the UK’s transition to net-zero by 2050. 

Hydrogen can be stored, liquified and transported via pipelines, trucks or ships. And it can be used to make fertiliser, fuel vehicles, heat homes, generate electricity or drive heavy industry.

Advancing hydrogen R&D

There has been a bottleneck in hydrogen utilisation research in the UK due to a lack of pilot-scale testing facilities. The specialist hydrogen R&D facilities in the newly-built Translational Energy Research Centre, at The University of Sheffield, can alleviate this bottleneck by enabling the rapid transition of fundamental research into market-ready products.”

Mohamed Pourkashanian, Director of the Energy Institute and Member of the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge (IDC) Advisory Committee.

Supporting the hydrogen economy

Our hydrogen capabilities

  • Pyrolysis and gasification of biomass and agricultural waste for green hydrogen production
  • Fuel switching to decarbonise heavy industry
  • Hydrogen fuels for sustainable aviation transport
  • Blended and pure hydrogen for use domestic heating
  • Nuclear SMRs for hydrogen production
  • Biomethanisation of CO2 in anaerobic digestion plants
  • High performance metal-based hydrogen storage materials
  • Hydrogen supply chains
  • Health and safety for hydrogen implementation and use

Our networks and knowledge sharing

UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre

The University of Sheffield is host to the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC). The UKCCSRC is facilitating research into the affordable and sustainable production of green hydrogen and how green hydrogen can be used to decarbonise heating, transport and industrial clusters. 

International Flame Research Foundation

The University of Sheffield is also host to the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) a worldwide network of combustion and energy specialists. The network connects members to knowledge exchange activities, combustion research information and business opportunities. In particular, the IFRF focuses on hydrogen fuel switching research to support the decarbonisation of industry. 

World-class hydrogen facilities

the translational energy research centre

Translational Energy Research Centre

The Translational Energy Research Centre is a new £21 million, national-scale research facility, part-funded by BEIS and the European Regional Development Fund, which enables researchers and industry partners to develop and test hydrogen and other low carbon technologies at pilot scale.

The facility can produce, store and utilise hydrogen through its state-of-the-art equipment and flexible energy management system. In particular, its expertise can support industrial decarbonisation via hydrogen fuel switching research using a state-of-the-art hydrogen-fired 300kW combustion test rig, and research into hydrogen as a sustainable aviation fuel.

The equipment at the Translational Energy Research Centre can be used to enable the design of hydrogen burners, and can assess hydrogen combustion performance and emission using laser diagnostic facilities. It also includes a hydrogen-operated microturbine which supports research into hydrogen heating systems.

Visit facility website

Researcher inside of the AMRC

AMRC and Nuclear AMRC

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

The AMRC specialises in carrying out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials, which is of practical use to industry. This includes researching the manufacturing optimisation and scale up of hydrogen electric propulsion systems. Visit facility website

Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

Nuclear power can hold the key to an affordable low-carbon hydrogen economy. Fission’s reliable supply of heat and electricity makes it the ideal power source for sustainable hydrogen production. The Nuclear AMRC is a collaboration of academic and industrial partners from across the nuclear supply chain, with the mission of driving innovation and helping UK manufacturers win work at home and worldwide. Visit facility website