Advancing Clean Energy
The use of fuel cells and clean hydrogen energy promises to improve energy efficiency, sustainability, and security as well as reduce green house gases and urban pollution. Fuel cells are being considered for electronics and transportation sectors and they are already being used in some early market applications with many other applications at the demonstration stage.
In keeping with Canada's reputation as a world leader in fuel cell and hydrogen technology, Canada Research Chair David Wilkinson is working to close the gaps that exist in the areas of performance, reliability, durability, operational flexibility, and cost reduction of fuel cell technology. Wilkinson is focused on four key areas: engineered materials and approaches for fuel cell function; simplification of fuel cell systems; new catalysis approaches; and fuel cell reliability and durability. Part of his work involves studying how to improve the performance of methanol and ethanol in fuel cells. These fuels are readily available, however significant performance issues exist that have prevented them from being widely adopted.
Wilkinson's research is timely, given the urgency of national and global issues concerning patterns of energy consumption and the environmental problems associated with energy use. Collaborating with researchers at home and abroad, Wilkinson is making an invaluable contribution to the fuel cell industry in Canada and helping to ensure that Canada maintains a competitive global lead in this critical energy technology.