The research project will concern the production of biologically derived formic acid (bioFA) from Canadian wood, beets, or other feedstocks. BioFA is a liquid hydrogen carrier that has a 20% higher energy density than H2 gas at 700 bar, and thus a far safer and more practical storage solution for emerging hydrogen economies. BioFA breaks down readily into CO2 and H2 at the point of use, but since the CO2 is biogenic, the net lifecycle GHG emissions should be low.
The research project would include the synthesis and optimal design of the BioFA-to-H2 process in the context of trans-Canadian and trans-Atlantic distribution and use of Canadian-derived BioFA. An eco-technoeconomic analysis (which includes a life cycle assessment) will be conducted to determine the economic, social, and environmental impacts within the context of the triple bottom line of sustainability. This is a collaborative project with Prof. Jakob Albert’s group at Universität Hamburg and may require approximately 3 months study and training there during the course of the project. The project is funded by NSERC’s Canada-Germany partnership program.
All graduate students in the MACC are offered support in the form of research scholarships, busaries, teaching assistantships, and other funding.
Due to the present difficulties of international travel and visa processing delays, and because the start date cannot be delayed, candidates must either be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or, already hold a valid student visa (and preferably be currently inside Canada). International students who do not meet this criteria are encouraged to consider applying for start dates in 2022 (for other projects).
Prof. Adams maintains a diverse group of students from all walks of life and encourages all qualified candidates to apply. Student selection will be done in concordance with McMaster University’s EDI guidelines.
Please contact Prof. Adams directly with your inquiries, and please note this posting in your inquiry.