Here's the latest news from AirUCI — our events, our people, our science.



Monday, April 5, 2021

In an April 4th article about hydrogen fueled autos in Car and Driver Magazine, AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted as an expert in this field.  He is disappointed in the pace of adding hydrogen fueling stations in California, although in the meantime he advocates the use of plug-in hybrid vehicles as the current infrastructure supports their use far better.  However, in December 2020 the state legislature approved funds to add many more hydrogen fueling stations throughout the state by 2027. Jack maintains that the future must include hydrogen as a fuel, especially for heavy-duty vehicles.  Read the article

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

AirUCI undergrad Nuodi "Kimberly" Zhang (Nizkorodov group) has received an Honorable Mention in the 2021 National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The NSF GRFP is highly competitive, and it is a great distinction to be honored by the program with a Fellowship or Honorable Mention.  Way to go, Kimberly!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

On March 21st, AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer presented a Solutions That Scale seminar entitled "100% Renewable and Zero Emissions Energy with Hydrogen" that has been widely viewed on YouTube. Recent research on the dynamics and control of electrochemical energy conversion systems to enable an energy-sustainable future with hydrogen was discussed.

Monday, March 8, 2021

AirUCI founder and co-director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts has been named the 2021 Woman of the Year for California Assembly district 74 for her inspirational leadership of major research initiatives and outreach activities at UC Irvine.  Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris led the nomination effort and along with Women In California Leadership will host a virtual reception on Monday, March 15th to present the award to Barbara.  Congratulations, Barb!  View the video

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

AirUCI's Natalie Smith, graduate student in the Nizkorodov group, has received the American Chemical Society's 2020 Graduate Student Award in Environmental Chemistry.  The award is given on behalf of ACS's Division of Environmental Chemistry (ENVR) — way to go, Natalie!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A February 23rd article on Voice of OC notes that AirUCI researchers have been a large part of the team measuring and evaluating emissions from an asphalt factory located in Irvine.  Residents have complained for years about the odors and reported health effects from the plant, and the research team's data showed potentially unsafe levels of certain chemical compounds.  SCAQMD has been investigating the situation and questions some of the methods and results of the UCI study.  A community meeting has now been scheduled for March 3rd to discuss the issues. 
Additional details            Read the February 4th article

Friday, February 19, 2021

On February 19th, AirUCI faculty Steve Davis presented a Solutions That Scale seminar entitled "The Urban Challenge" that has been widely viewed on YouTube. Steve interviewed Martin Powell, who leads the Urban Development Practice for Siemens Corporation, about the challenges our big cities face over the next decade during the transition in how we generate and consume energy.

Friday, February 19, 2021

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article about using hydrogen technology to store surplus solar and wind energy that is currently being wasted.  Jack notes that hydrogen is effective for longer storage because it doesn’t lose energy over time and can be stored underground easily and cheaply.  “It’s the only known zero-emissions solution for enabling this massive and long-duration storage on the grid,” he says. “Eventually, we can’t keep installing more and more batteries and make it through the year.”  Read the article

Thursday, February 4, 2021

A local Irvine neighborhood has been complaining for years about emissions from a nearby asphalt plant, and now they have data to back their claims.  A UCI-based team working with residents was led by Dean Baker, former director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and included AirUCI researchers.  The UCI team used monitoring equipment to capture data about the types of emissions in the area and measured unsafe levels of certain chemical compounds, and they are emphasizing a need for long term monitoring to review the issue.   Regulatory agencies are now conducting their own studies.  Read the article

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in an article on the potential of green hydrogen to generate power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The article in Bloomberg Law discusses this as an important option in the transition from carbon-based power sources while dozens of major companies are signing on to back hydrogen as a source of clean energy.  Jack has been advocating that the Biden administration consider repurposing existing—and in some cases abandoned—natural gas pipelines to transport hydrogen. 
Making that transition would not be technically difficult because most natural gas pipelines are capable of carrying hydrogen, with minor tweaks.  “This is what the federal government should be responsible for doing,” Jack said.  “This is a shared infrastructure.  It enables long-duration storage, it lets you transmit it across mountains—it’s got a lot of features that we like.”  Read the article