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USC students win fuel cell innovation awards

Three student teams from the University of South Carolina each were awarded $25,000 Thursday, Nov. 8 for their winning projects at the 2012 Fuel Cell Challenge.

The contest, now in its fifth year, invites students to propose solutions to existing industry problems using hydrogen fuel cell technology and also to develop business plans for commercializing the technology.

The submitted student proposals were reviewed by a panel of industry experts based on five criteria: composition of team, technical approach, innovative approach, commercial viability, and financial viability. The teams, along with USC faculty advisors, will work with industry professionals for the next six months to execute their proposals.

The winning teams include:

• be-SC: David Chandler, Darrius Dunbar and Ross Hutto. Faculty Directors: Mike Matthews, Jason Hattrick-Simpers

The team responded to a challenge from Trulite, Inc., to develop a simple method of assessing the recycling suitability of canisters used for storing sodium borohydride, a chemical often used as a source of hydrogen.

• CapItalIs: William Rigdon, Joshua Sightler and Diana Larrabee Faculty Director: Xinyu Huang

The team responded to a challenge from Sustainable Innovations to create electrocatalysts for hydrogen recycling that are long-lasting and resistant to corrosion.

• SAGE Enterprises: Sungtak Kim, Michael Mayeda, Yanjiao Yi, Daniel Fischer, Katie McCullough, Abibatu Ojoamoo and Kelsey Taylor Faculty Directors: Jochen Lauterbach, Erdem Sasmaz

The team will develop their own concept, creating a reforming system that can convert liquid fuels into a liquefied petroleum gas mixture that can be used in solid oxide fuel cell systems, which have particular utility in remote areas needing high power density.

The Fuel Cell Challenge is a is sponsored by the Fuel Cell Collaborative, the City of Columbia, the South Carolina Research Authority, EngenuitySC and Midlands Technical College.

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Posted: 11/08/12 @ 3:00 PM | Updated: 02/22/13 @ 2:00 PM | Permalink

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