HMEI-STEP Topic: Ways to Mitigate Potential Risks of a Hydrogen Economy from a Chemistry-Climate Perspective
HMEI-STEP Adviser: Denise Mauzerall
Thesis Topic: Studying the Climate and Composition Impacts and Feedbacks of Methane Emissions in a Chemistry-Climate Model
Thesis Adviser: Larry Horowitz, Lecturer in Geosciences and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Chua will study the climate and air-quality impacts of the production and use of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel has been identified as a prime candidate for promoting a transition to a net-zero carbon economy. Hydrogen, however, can act as a powerful greenhouse gas and can increase atmospheric concentrations of key greenhouse gases such as methane. Chua will examine the processes that can lead to hydrogen leakage during the production and use of hydrogen fuel and fuel cells. He will then compare the hydrogen economy’s potential emissions to its benefit as a fossil fuel replacement over the whole supply chain, analyzing different production and leakage scenarios. For the second part of his research, Chua plans to explore policies and regulations that would minimize supply-chain emissions and mitigate the possible negative climate and air-quality effects of a hydrogen economy.