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Garbage In, Clean Fuel Out

BU engineers are generating high-purity hydrogen from everyday trash.

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There's a lot to love about hydrogen, aside from its number-one standing on the periodic table. It's a clean-burning gas with the potential to fuel our cars, light our homes, and power our factories without filling our skies with smog.

Instead of using fossil fuel, we are going to use waste to generate the hydrogen, so it's clean and renewable.

But pure hydrogen is hard to come by. It doesn't occur naturally in large quantities, and current methods of generating hydrogen actually rely on fossil fuels.

To solve that problem, BU engineers in Professor Uday Pal's research lab are developing a process of extracting high-purity hydrogen from plain old garbage. Their technology is scalable—meaning we may someday use small versions of their device to fuel our cars with dinner scraps, or large versions to run our factories on industrial waste.

Energy Technologies

Degrees Offered

What Is Energy Technologies?

Energy—in its many forms—will always be in demand. And meeting the world's energy needs while preserving the environment will be one of engineering's paramount challenges in the 21st century. Engineers with knowledge of the ways clean energy is produced, stored and used in compliance with government policy and regulations will be in strong demand in government and in private industry. They will be poised to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.

What Does BU Offer?

We offer a concentration in energy technologies for undergraduates majoring in any field of engineering (mechanical, computer, electrical or biomedical), giving them dual expertise without adding extra courses to their curriculum.

In addition, many of our graduate students are involved in clean energy research:

  • Materials for Energy and Environment Materials for Energy and Environment Materials for energy and environment is a signature research strength for our Division of Materials Science & Engineering. More Info
  • Thermofluid Sciences, Energy and Sustainability Thermofluid Sciences, Energy and Sustainability Thermofluid sciences, energy and sustainability are research strengths in our Department of Mechanical Engineering. More Info
  • Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative Faculty from the College of Engineering are involved in BU's interdisciplinary Clean Energy & Environmental Sustainability Initiative. More Info

Visit the Energy Technologies website for more information.

View a full-color brochure on clean energy & sustainability research at the College of Engineering