From discovery science to industrial application: Turquoise Hydrogen and Advanced Functional Materials: A Big Win for Climate?

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Our latest event in partnership with Cambridge University’s Maxwell Centre will be on Tuesday 5th December. Come and join us over a glass of wine and hear a talk about some cutting-edge science research.

This time we welcome Prof Adam Boies, Professor of Nanomaterials and Aerosol Engineering and is Head of the Energy Faculty Group at the Cambridge University Engineering Department to talk turquoise hydrogen and advanced functional materials.

Turquoise Hydrogen is the co-production of hydrogen and solid carbon from natural or renewable hydrocarbons. At an industrial scale there is a question of what to do with the carbon, as activated carbons are widely used but have a market cap that is significantly below the ambitions that would be produced at even modest hydrogen production scenarios. An opportunity exists to turn the waste product of C into a values stream for bulk materials thus making C-materials more valuable than CO2. The functional properties of nano-carbons are well known, but only in the last three years have large-scale materials composed of nano-carbons demonstrated strength, thermal and electrical properties that exceed steel and aluminum. Macroscopic materials composed of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) form networks of bundles which serve as the functional unit that spans the extent of the material. Advances over the last decade have resulted in a doubling of ultimate tensile strength every three years, largely as a result of bundle densification and alignment.

This presentation will discuss the worldwide race for advanced carbon materials production by enhancing CNT fibre strength, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. A new production facility is being built for materials production in St. Helens UK at 5 t/yr with a market for Li ion batteries. Larger questions remain regarding whether bulk materials can be produced at sufficient density for wide-scale applications. New techniques for measuring the rates of catalyst formation and kinetics of CNT growth will provide a means for studying the ultimate limitations of reaction density and reactor throughput. These techniques are being applied to study new CO2e net-sequestering carbon materials when produced from new sources of methane, such as gasified biomass and landfill gas.

Date / time: Tues 5 Dec, 5.15pm (for 5.30pm talk start time), event end by 7pm

This talk is part of a series of more-or-less termly talks ‘From discovery science to industrial application’ run jointly over the last 5 years by Cambridge Network and the University of Cambridge’s Maxwell Centre and kindly hosted at the Maxwell Centre. We feature scientists whose research will possibly be commercialised in the next few years.


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December 5th, 2023 from  5:15 PM to  7:00 PM
Maxwell Centre
University of Cambridge
JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0HE
United Kingdom
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Free event £0.00
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