School of Energy Resources Announces Awardees of the Hydrogen: Make, Move, Use or Store Initiative


The School of Energy Resources (SER) at University of Wyoming is pleased to announce the selected projects that will be funded under the “Hydrogen: Make, Move, Use or Store” initiative.

Dedicated to energy-driven economic development for the state of Wyoming, SER recently stood up the Hydrogen Energy Research Center (H2ERC) with support from the state of Wyoming, The Anschutz Corporation, and Williams. The new center of excellence is focused on applied research to support the growth of a hydrogen industry in Wyoming,

To help facilitate that mission, H2ERC issued a call for proposals from current UW faculty members on hydrogen energy. Topics of interest for the proposals included all levels of the supply chain, such as hydrogen production, use, transportation, and storage.

“The ultimate goal of the seed funding is to support small projects and therefore enable the principal investigators to have sufficient information and tools to pursue external research grants,” says H2ERC Director, Eugene Holubnyak. “By supporting UW faculty and staff who have the initiative and skills to conduct research along the hydrogen supply chain, we are ultimately growing the foundation of work focused on Wyoming-energy driven economic development.”

The funding opportunity will cover a full calendar year and project proposals will receive maximum budget of $100,000.

Seven research proposals were chosen to receive seed funding under the request for proposals. Selected projects include:

–Soheil Saraji, an associate professor of petroleum engineering, leads the project, entitled “A Multiscale Study of Hydrogen Geochemical Reactivity and Transport for Geo-Storage in Deep Saline Aquifers.”

–Charlie Zhang, an assistant professor in civil and architectural engineering, leads the proposal, titled “Economic analysis of building new pipelines vs converting existing natural gas pipelines in gaseous hydrogen transportation.”

UW faculty and staff members working on the project include Selena Gerace, an associate research scientist in the School of Energy Resources, and Muskan Kuinkel, a graduate assistant in the Wyoming Technology Transfer Center.

–Saman Aryana, an associate professor in chemical engineering and the Occidental Chair in Energy and Environmental Technologies, will lead the project “Phase Behavior of Hydrogen and Blended Gas.”

–Kam Ng, an associate professor in civil and architectural engineering, leads the project, titled “Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Underground Hydrogen Storage on the Hydraulic and Mechanical Properties of Rock Reservoirs.”

–Sarah Buckhold, a graduate assistant and doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering leads the project, titled “Stranded Wind Energy for Hydrogen Production in the State of Wyoming.”

Buckhold will work under the supervision of Michael Stoellinger, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Jonathan Naughton, a professor of mechanical engineering and the Director of the Wind Energy Research Center.

–Haibo Zhai, an associate professor in civil and architectural engineering and the Roy & Caryl Cline Chair of Engineering, Environment and Natural Resources, leads the proposal, titled “Technological Learning and Resources Required for Large-Scale Blue Hydrogen Production toward Energy Earthshot Target.”

— Minou Rabiei, an associate professor in petroleum engineering, leads the project, titled “Feasibility Study of Developing Salt Caverns for Hydrogen Storage in Wyoming.”

The research team includes Morteza Dejam, an associate professor of petroleum engineering, and Vamegh Rasouli, Professor and Department Head and the LeNorman Endowed Leadership Chair in Petroleum Engineering.


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