Future Fuel and Hydrogen Economy

This research stream focuses on addressing future fuel needs such as low-emission fuel production and storage and capture technologies.

Our research covers topics such as combined heat and power technologies, hydrogen technology for power and transportation systems, low-cost storage technology, production of bioenergy and energy from waste materials, and the technical and economic analysis of the energy and transport system.

Research stream leaders

Associate Professor Surbhi Sharma

Email: surbhi.sharma@federation.edu.au

Dr Surbhi Sharma received her Bachelors (Honours) in Physics and her Masters in Nanoscience from University of Delhi and Amity University in India, respectively. In 2007, she moved to the UK to pursue her doctoral studies which she completed at the University of Ulster in 2011. Soon after, she joined the UK’s first Centre for Doctoral Training in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at The University of Birmingham working as a Research and Teaching Fellow. In 2017 she moved to the University of Birmingham’s School of Biosciences as a Research Associate and Co-Investigator to pursue multidisciplinary research funded by DSTL, Ministry of Defence (UK).

Her pioneering studies on the evolution of electronic and chemical properties of graphene oxide through synchrotron based spectroscopic studies and its use as hybrid catalyst-support in direct methanol fuel cells continue to attract significant academic interest. Working in materials chemistry for the area of Hydrogen Technologies, she contributed to all key aspects of Fuel Cell material development such as i) Reduction of cost-barriers and life-time issues via tailoring of surface oxygen groups via 2-D hybrid electrocatalysts, ii) Low-Pt bimetallic and core-sell structured electrocatalysts, iii) first-principles simulations supported electrochemical studies for understanding fundamental interactions between CO and surface-oxygen moieties in graphene oxide supported catalysts, iv) multi-layered proton conduction membranes for intermediate temperature PEMFCs, and v) conductive, corrosion resistant coatings for BPPs.

She has delivered on collaborative projects in Li-S batteries and polymer-based piezoelectric fabrics, these works were highlighted on journal covers (RSC, Sustainable Energy & Fuels; Energy & Environmental Science). She also has the experience of working in synthetic biology assisted electrocatalyst synthesis, up-conversion of fuel precursors and synthesis of drop in fuels (liquid bio-hydrocarbons). So far, she has published more than 35 peer-reviewed publications in addition to many conference papers, book chapters and single-author books. She has over 4200 citations and an H-index of 19 (Google Scholar). Over the years she has successfully contributed to the generation of over AUD 1M worth of research income. She has delivered on various projects funded by agencies such as Science without borders - Brazil, EPSRC-UK, EU, FCH-JU and ACI in the capacity of Principle Investigator and Co-Investigator.

In October 2022, Dr Sharma moved to Australia and joined Federation University as the Associate Professor of Hydrogen Technologies. She recently acquired funding from Australian Carbon Innovation (ACI) for a collaborative project with industry partners Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT) and GrapheneX to investigate the use of lignite (brown coal) for developing high-value carbons.

For queries about CfNETR’s research, or to discuss collaborating or researching with us, get in touch with the Centre Director via the Contact page.