“These 23 Top Innovations come from the top universities around the world, and we are proud that one of these top technologies is from the University of Kentucky,” said Charles Lu, Director of the UK College of Engineering Paducah Campus. “We are even more proud that this top technology is from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Paducah campus!
Hwang’s research is related to generating hydrogen, an important alternative energy source, because it only produces water when it reacts with oxygen in a fuel cell. However, despite these favorable properties, safety concerns and low energy density by volume remain fundamental challenges to using hydrogen in practice.
Hwang has found a more efficient process for generating hydrogen.
“Hydrogen can be generated through thermolysis or hydrolysis of sodium borohydride (NaBH4, SBH),” said Hwang. “Here, we propose a new process, thermal hydrolysis of SBH, to generate hydrogen via hydrolysis in the solid phase.”
This approach offers improved safety and higher hydrogen yield compared to conventional hydrolysis. In addition, the operating temperature of this approach is much lower than in conventional processes.
“Our results suggest that this new approach is promising for a variety of fuel cell applications, such as for unmanned vehicles, small motorized vehicles, military devices and equipment, and emergency power generators,” said Hwang.
IN-PART identified the top 23 innovators who received the highest levels of engagement in 2022 from R&D professionals at companies including Johnson & Johnson, Samsung, and Bayer. The ranking factors in three metrics: the number of introduction requests to the academic teams behind each project, positive feedback from the companies reviewing them, and article reads.