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Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research

Durham research is leading the way in driving forward Hydrogen innovation.

Hydrogen is now recognised as a key option for developing a net zero energy future. It holds promise as a solution for some of the key challenges facing emissions reduction in sectors such as transport, industry and buildings, as well as the electricity system. As a result, Hydrogen is now a pillar in the 2020 UK Government 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and Energy White Paper. Hydrogen roadmaps are now also being developed by countries and Governments around the globe.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that partly offers the advantages of fossil fuels – flexibility and energy density – with the potential for a low carbon footprint.

Hydrogen has about three times the energy density relative to weight of petrol or diesel. When you convert it in a fuel cell to produce electricity, it does not release any carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. It is also the most abundant element on earth and a good form of energy storage. Hydrogen is an energy vector that can be transported and stored, and can be used as a fuel for the transportation sector, heating of buildings and providing heat and feedstock to industry.  It can also support the deployment of renewable power generation such as wind, solar, nuclear and hydro.

However, there are still challenges that require research and innovation in the production, transportation and storage of hydrogen, as well as the regulatory and policy structures required to support the sector.

Durham research is at the forefront of addressing these challenges.

Professor Tony Roskilly and his research team are leading national research networks for Hydrogen Fuelled Transportation – Network-H2 and Decarbonising Heating and Cooling.

They are developing hydrogen fuelled transport powertrains, CHP and integrated energy hubs, as well as research on the utilisation of captured CO2.

We are working with National Grid, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Teesside Industrial Cluster, NEPIC, PD Ports, MPI, TWI, Northern Gas Networks, Teesside University and other regional and national stakeholders to support all the decarbonisation and clean growth agenda.  

Key Researchers

Name Department  
Professor Tony Roskilly


Dr Andrew Smallbone Engineering  
Dr Janie Ling-Chin Engineering  
Dr Yaodong Wang Engineering  
Dr Sumit Roy Engineering  
Professor Ivana Evans  Chemistry  


Current Projects


Network-H2: EPSRC Network for Research into hydrogen fuelled transportation (Professor A.P.Roskilly)

EPSRC, October 19 Start 

The Network for Hydrogen Transportation (Network-H2) led by Durham which takes a leadership role across the energy, marine, on-road, rail and aviation sectors in advancing the rapidly advancing hydrogen-enabled transport sector.


ICHP: Zero Carbon Emission Integrated Cooling, Heating and Power Networks ( Dr A.Smallbone)

EPSRC June 21 Start

The project aims to explore the potential to supply heating and cooling to domestic, commercial and industrial end-users via integrated zero-carbon emission cooling, heating and power (ICHP) networks using hydrogen.


Hydrogen for Heat: a hydrogen powered Combined Heat and Power System (Dr A.Smallbone)

NELEP, March 2020

Hydrogen for Heat, is centred around a hydrogen powered combined heat and power (CHP) system and will create a laboratory in the North East. The project will establish a facility at Durham University to demonstrate hydrogen fuelled heating, storage and power generation with potential commercial applications.


HyNTS Future Grid Research (Professor Tony Roskilly)

OFGEM/Industry,  2022.

The transportation of hydrogen will be a significant part of the future energy system and there is an urgent need to prove that the transmission network can be relied on in the same way it is today. This is the important focus of HyNTS FutureGrid project in partnership with National Grid.


Tees Valley Multi-modal Hydrogen Transport Hub Development (Professor A.P.Roskilly)

Professor Tony Roksilly is on the Advisory Board for the new Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub. He is also leading on work to support Tees Valley Combined Authority Hydrogen Transport infrastructure planning exploring the key research and policy issues linked to the development and the installation of the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the Tees Valley.


An Integrated Energy System Planning Tool for net-zero Industrial Clusters (Dr Janie Ling-Chin)

EPSRC, Oct 2020

This project will develop a “best of both-worlds” planning tool; a simpler solution which accounts for uncertainties and is more scalable for the analysis of multi-vector energy flows. The model will be initiated using real-world data from the Teesside Cluster but built into a flexible response surface methodology (RSM) framework as a case-study. The complexity will be made appropriate by populating the RSMs with more physical, multi-dimensional representations of cluster energy system components. The tool will be used to explore high-level planning scenarios and help support local efforts for decarbonising all the industrial clusters.

Strategic Collaboration And Technological Development Of Clean Energy Technologies For Transport Sector (Professor Tony Roskilly)

Royal Academy of Engineering, October 2020

The project aims to create strategic partnerships for the UK-China university experts working with industries and government to promote the technological development of clean energy technologies tackling Climate Change Challenges in the energy and transport sectors.