Dr. Tansel Karabacak, professor of physics and astronomy at UA Little Rock, has received $500,000 for a three-year project to research and develop unique high-performance fuel cells to improve the renewable energy infrastructure in the United States.
The project is designed to assist the U.S. Department of Energy’s initiative to produce hydrogen and low-carbon fuel cells that are affordable, safe, and environmentally sound. This initiative is fueled by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. These acts promote widespread commercialization of renewable fuel and clean energy production.
Dr. Karabacak and his team are working with United Technologies Research Center, a global company designed to nurture innovation in commercial aerospace, defense, and building industries. Their team will research and develop a structure to improve polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Because of their high power density and low carbon emissions, scientists hope that PEMFCs can be used for mass transit. However, they currently cannot be used in this manner due to their limited power and poor durability. Dr. Karabacak and his team are working with the U.S. Department of Energy to create a solution for this current problem.
The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Dr. Karabacak with $399,998 and UA Little Rock contributed $100,000.