Glen Chua

HMEI-STEP Fellow 2021, Doctoral Candidate
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

I am currently a PhD candidate in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department, and I hope to do work at the climate and environmental science-policy interface. My current research at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, where I am being advised by Dr. Larry Horowitz, involves using state-of-the-art Earth System Models to model the potential climate and air quality impacts of a future hydrogen economy, as well as the interactions between future hydrogen and methane scenarios. I am also a HMEI-STEP fellow working together with Prof. Denise Mauzerall to explore the policy options to minimize potential adverse impacts of a future hydrogen economy. More generally, I am also trying to incorporate environmental justice considerations in my research work. Prior to coming to Princeton, I grew up in Singapore, and subsequently obtained a BA and MSci in physics as well as an MPhil in atmospheric chemistry from the University of Cambridge in the UK.


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.