NUCRET Collaborative Research

Innovation

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Collaborating with Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee and Mr. Derrick Maxwell from the Northeastern University Center of Renewable Energy Technology, we sought to revolutionize the understanding of limiting factors behind hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas purification in proton exchange membrane hydrogen pumps. 

By analyzing various Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) tests, I helped analyze the electrochemical data output from a proton exchange membrane electrolyzer to determine metrics like the pump's ohmic resistance, CO2 to H2 ratio for purity measurements, Gaussian curve fitting for EIS measurement at variable voltages, and current efficiency of the system. 

An example PEM hydrogen pump taken from Vermaak et al is shown below to illustrate the rudimentary apparatus. 

Hydrogen Pump

In addition to electrochemical analysis automation, I worked on fitting the hydrogen pump dynamics to a basic electrical circuit. Modeling the fuel cell equivalent circuit during normal operation allows a simplistic generalization of the PEM system and inspires a novel approach for quantifying impedance. Additionally, this approach inspires future studies which seek to systematically iterate hydrogen pump components and yield higher hydrogen pump efficiency.

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Fuel Cell Circuit.png

Environa also helped NUCRET develop a web platform to display publications, research areas, and staff members. Since the platform has gone, NUCRET has seen a 20% increase in undergraduate student involvement and a 8% increase in graduate student involvement. 

Now, we are building the platform as a resource for students interested in energy fundamentals through informational media content on topics like concentrated solar-thermal power, recent developments in insulation, and developments in transformer technology for increased energy efficiency. Together, we hope to pioneer research in renewable energy technology and inform our audiences of undercovered developments in the energy industry.