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Zirconium Proton Conductors

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Cost-effective, high-temperature-resistant proton conductors for efficient hydrogen fuel

Zirconium Proton Conductors is a pioneering project introducing novel Nafion-free proton conductors for high-temperature PEMFCs (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells), enhancing performance and cost-effectiveness. Using materials like zirconium phytate, these membranes address temperature resistance limitations by retaining stability and conductivity even above 100°C. These innovations potentially also lower costs compared to existing solutions, paving the way for broader commercialisation. Adopting advanced hydrogen fuel cells can generate multiple benefits, including reduced carbon emissions, job creation, energy diversification, and collectively contributing to sustainable development and community well-being.

Graduates

  • Muhammad Tawalbeh

    Muhammad Tawalbeh

    University of Sharjah

    Dr. Amani Al-Othman joined AUS in 2013. She is currently the Petrofac Endowed Chair in Renwable Energy. Dr. Al-Othman has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa, a Master’s degree in Mining, Metals and Materials Engineering from McGill University and a Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology. Her research at AUS focuses on fuel cells technology and renewable energy applications. Research activities also include the development of nano- composite materials/polymers for fuel cells and solar cells. Dr. Al-Othman is a lead investigator in the energy research group at the department of Chemical Engineering/AUS. The group aims at developing novel materials and coatings for self-cleaning solar Cells. Dr. Al-Othman is also affiliated with the Biomedical Engineering Graduate program and works on the development of implantable electrodes for neural sensing/stimulation. She has been AUS top cited researcher for the past 3 years and published more than a 100 peer-reviewed scholarly articles. Dr. Al-Othman is a trustee at the Sharjah international Future Readiness Award launched by Sharjah Police 2022/2023. Dr. Muhammad Tawalbeh is an associate professor in the Department of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Sharjah. He is also a member of the Sustainable Energy and Power Systems Research Center, Energy Storage and Management research group, and Desalination research group at the University of Sharjah. He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of membrane separation. Dr. Tawalbeh research activities focus on renewable energy and sustainable environment applications. In particular, preparation and characterization of membranes for fuel cells, carbon capture, water desalination, development of solar-powered membrane desalination processes, wastewater treatment using adsorption and advanced oxidation processes, biofuels production from agricultural waste and paper mill sludge, utilization of solar and geothermal energies in absorption chillers, and energy storage materials and systems. Dr. Tawalbeh actively collaborates with researchers from the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates University, Qatar University, University of Jordan, Swansea University, University of Wisconsin SP, Al-Balqa Applied University, and Saint Mary's University. Dr. Tawalbeh secured over 850 k AED in research grants. He is being listed in the world’s top 2% of scientists produced by Stanford University researchers for the years 2021 and 2022, and also recognized among the top 20 authors by scholarly output at the University of Sharjah over the period 2017 to 2022. Dr. Tawalbeh is the recipient of several awards, including the Sharjah Islamic Bank Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, the University of Sharjah Annual Faculty Incentive Research Award, the M.W. Welch International Scholarship from the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technology and Applications, Horace G. Young Scholarship, Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and Excellence Scholarship from the University of Ottawa. more

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  • Wessam Nimir

    Wessam Nimir

    American University of Sharjah

    I am a chemical engineer who synthesized innovative membranes for high-temperature fuel cell in my master’s thesis at the American University of Sharjah. The primary objective of my project was to create eco-friendly and cost-effective membranes for hydrogen fuel cells, which could potentially find use in power generation, such as in electric vehicles. I am actively seeking opportunities to further advance my research and explore its practical application in real life. Presently, I am working as a research assistant at the American University of Sharjah in collaboration with Sharjah University, focusing on the development of innovative membranes with a high potential to replace traditional Nafion membranes. more

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