Hydrogen Energy Laboratory

Discover Our Focus

The Hydrogen Energy Laboratory (HEL) is engaged in building a sustainable energy future. We focus on innovative research topics in renewable energy, including fuel cells, sustainable hydrogen production, solar-to-fuel synthesis, biomass upgrading, and applications in microfluidic devices. We closely collaborate with the Idaho National Laboratory and regional energy industries for research & development of novel renewable energy systems.

Our research interests are:

  • High-temperature Electrolysis
  • Solar Hydrogen Production
  • Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
  • Lightweight Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell
  • Microfluidic Energy Devices
  • 3D Ceramics Printing
  • Solar Desalination
  • Molten Salt Energy Storage

Explore Our Research

Old Dominion Biofuels Research Powered by New Teaching Grant
A $340,000 grant will help train the next generation of biofuels researchers at Old Dominion University. (More)

  1. Zhou C, O'Brien JE, Rajan G, Marsillac S, Zhang X, Water splitting using high temperature solid oxide photoelectrochemical cell and visible sunlight: searching for the appropriate semiconductor materials, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 2016: 164 (7), H497-H502
  2. Zhou C, Mei L, Su Y-S, Yeh L-H, Zhang X, and Qian S, Gated ion transport in a soft nanochannel with biomimetic polyelectrolyte rrush lLayers, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2016: 229: 305-314
  3. Zhang X, O'Brien JE, Tao G, Zhou C, and Housley GK, Experimental design, operation, and results of a 4 kW high temperature steam electrolysis experiment, Journal of Power Sources. 2015; 297:90-97
  4. Xiaoyu Zhang, James E. O'Brien, Robert C. O'Brien, Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Greg Tao, Gregory K. Housley, Improved durability of SOEC stacks for high temperature electrolysis", International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(1):20, 2013.
  5. Xiaoyu Zhang, James E. O'Brien, Robert C. O'Brien, Durability evaluation of reversible solid oxide cells, Journal of Power Sources, 242(15):566, 2013.

The lab has many facilities that allow students to do research on cell fabrication & assembly, material characterization, and performance testing. Students have access to a fuel cell test station, Agilent data acquisition system, Shimadzu gas chromatograph, high-temperature sintering furnace (1700 oC), high-temperature tubular furnace (1100 oC), spin coater, grinder & polisher, glove box, and optical microscope.