IES Seminar - Prof Frano Barbir - Why Hydrogen Critics Are Both Right and Wrong


Hudson Beare Lecture Theatre 2, King's Buildings, University of Edinburgh and MS Teams


Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - 12:00 to 13:00


Hydrogen is now in a focus of interest, not only in EU, and mass deployment of hydrogen from production to applications is being planned on the highest political level. However, there are still skeptics that need to be convinced that hydrogen is not only a viable but the key technology for full or deep decarbonisation of energy supply. Some people, even experts, usually focus on just one aspect, such as the efficiency or storage size or perceived danger, and jump to conclusions without considering a wider picture. Hydrogen should not be judged by these individual properties, but by its ability to decarbonize those energy sectors that would be hard to decarbonize otherwise. The lecture will analyse those critical views and will provide the explanations why those critics are both right and wrong. An objective picture of the future role of hydrogen will be shared.


Frano Barbir is Professor Emeritus at Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB), University of Split, Croatia, where he continues to work as a Project Activity Leader at the Center of Excellence for Science and Technology – Integration of Mediterranean Region (STIM).

His research interests include heat and mass transfer in PEM fuel cells, effects of operational conditions on fuel cell performance and durability, design of fuel cells and fuel cell stacks and systems, fuel cell applications, and hydrogen energy concept and its role in context of energy future. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 200 papers on hydrogen and fuel cells published in scientific and technical journals, books, encyclopedias, and conference proceedings, as well as 7 U.S. and one EU patent on various aspects fuel cell stack and system design and operation. His book, PEM Fuel Cells: Theory and Practice, published by Elsevier/Academic Press in 2005 (2nd edition came out in 2013), has been translated to Chinese, Korean and Farsi, and it is being used as a textbook at many universities all over the world.

He is the founding President of Croatian Hydrogen Association, a Vice President of the International Association of Hydrogen Energy, and a Croatian representative in the States Representatives Group at Clean Hydrogen Partnership in Brussels.

Prof. Barbir holds a Dipl.-Ing. degree in mechanical engineering and an M.Sc. degree in chemical engineering both from University of Zagreb, Croatia, and a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.

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