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April 19: Symposium addresses future hydrogen economy

Hydrogen-fuelPULLMAN, Wash. – Academic, industry and government researchers from around the West will gather at Washington State University on Tuesday, April 19, to glimpse a hydrogen-powered future.

“Increasing the number of hydrogen fuel-powered cars on the road could help reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions that are changing the earth’s climate,” said Jake Leachman, assistant professor in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, who organized the symposium. “In addition to meeting our pressing needs for an alternative car fuel, hydrogen is essential for chemical synthesis, manufacturing and processing industries that are increasing all the time in our state.’’

With funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy, WSU researchers are part of a team working to develop an efficient and inexpensive hydrogen liquefaction system that could pave the way for mainstream availability of hydrogen fuels and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The hydrogen and fuel cell symposium will be 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in the PACCAR building, room 202. Sponsored by WSU’s Energy Systems Innovation Center, the gathering will include speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, California Fuel Cell Partnership and Plug Power, a fuel cell manufacturer.

Find a schedule and RSVP at

While hydrogen fuel-powered cars exist, they have not been popular primarily because of a lack of available infrastructure to support them. Only a handful of hydrogen gas stations have been built in the U.S. A group of WSU students designed a plan for an innovative and economical fueling station two years ago that took first place in an international hydrogen design competition.

In addition, Leachman said, “Kawasaki is building the world’s first liquid hydrogen tanker for major coastal exports to Japan. The bottom line is, now is the perfect time for Washington to develop a plan for promoting our very own hydrogen supply chain.’’


Jake Leachman, WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, 509-335-7711,
Tina Hilding, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture communications, 509-335-5095,



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