Hosted by: SciWorks and Reynolda Gardens of Wake Forest University

Science Cafés are free, informal talks that offer you a chance to learn about the latest research from a regional scientist.

Next Science Café

Science Cafés will resume in March 2015. Stay tuned for more information. The most recent Science Café was held on Tuesday, November 11, at River Ridge Taphouse in Clemmons, from 7-8 pm.

  • Topic: Fueling the Future — Could Hydrogen Be the Answer?
  • Presented By: Timo Thonhauser, Department of Physics, Wake Forest University

Timo Thonhauser sees much potential for using hydrogen to power vehicles. Hydrogen is plentiful and every nation has access to it. It burns clean, so the only byproduct is water. And the world’s fossil fuels are running out – so we need another option.

One of the reasons why we are not using hydrogen cars already is that hydrogen is difficult to store. Simply pumping pure hydrogen into pressurized tanks in your car is inefficient and potentially dangerous. So, Thonhauser has set about to find materials with which to combine hydrogen so it is easily used and safely stored. That research is part of a prestigious CAREER Award Thonhauser has received from the National Science Foundation.

In this presentation, Thonhauser, a condensed matter theorist, will discuss problems with today’s energy sources and carriers, such as petroleum-based fuels. He will then present hydrogen as a possible solution to all those problems if the difficulties in its production, storage and use can be overcome. Finally, he will present his own research, focusing on tackling hydrogen storage, which is the most challenging obstacle.

River Ridge Taphouse is located at 1480 River Ridge Dr, Clemmons, NC 27012