Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Scheffe
College of Engineering
"During the Spring 2014 semester I learned of a new professor coming to the MAE department at the University of Florida. I emailed Dr. Scheffe before he started at UF because I was interested in his research. I met with Dr. Scheffe the following fall and his research in thermochemical fuel production made me curious. Dr. Scheffe invited me to join him and I am very grateful he did. I have been working with Dr. Scheffe since. I want to make a career in renewable energy. This research has been an exciting start to a lifelong adventure."
- Renewable Energy
- Hydrogen Fuel
- Mechanical Design
- Anderson Scholar High Distinction 2014
- John B. Boy / US Sugar Scholarship 2014-2015
- College of Engineering Dean's List 2013-2015
- Collins Engineering Scholarship 2015-2016
Hobbies and Interests
- Renewable Energy
- Youth Ministry
- Mountain Biking
Construction of a high temperature cycling furnace to test thermal stability for thermochemical fuel production
There are many renewable approaches to produce hydrogen, and one promising approach is solar thermochemical production, where concentrated sunlight thermally splits the water molecule into H2 and O2. The thermochemical production of hydrogen is a two-step process using a metal oxide (MO). First, the MO is rapidly heated to a high temperature, around 1500 °C, using concentrated solar energy. At such a high temperature the MO is reduced and gaseous O2 is released. Following reduction, the MO is removed from the solar heat source and rapidly cooled to a much lower temperature. At this temperature the MO is exposed to H2O and is reoxidized, returning the MO to its original state and producing H2. Because the metal oxide is recycled back to the first step and not consumed, the net reaction is simply the dissociation of H2O to form H2 and O2. The evaluation of the thermal stability of potentially favorable materials is crucial because of the on/off nature of concentrated sunlight, the extreme temperatures, and subsequent severe thermal stresses that are induced. However, traditional lab furnaces cannot recreate concentrated solar heating and test thermal stability of materials because heating rates are often too slow. Therefore, the goal of this project is to construct and test a high temperature cycling furnace to rapidly cycle metal oxides of interest to test their thermal stability for thermochemical fuel production reactions.