Rapid decarbonisation is required to avert the most extreme impacts of climate heating. Hydrogen is a non-polluting alternative fuel that can be prepared from water split with solar power. However, the transportation and storage of hydrogen remains a challenge because of the high pressures involved.
Jacob will be developing carbon materials that hydrogen can stick to, lowering the pressure in storage tanks and improving the safety during transportation. In recent work Jacob has shown that flexing the sponge-like structure of certain carbon materials can greatly increase their capacity to hold hydrogen. He will use supercomputers to model and test this flexing to guide the development of the materials in the lab, greatly speeding up material development. These insights will be coupled with experimental work to engineer a hydrogen sponge that could enable the hydrogen economy in Western Australia and the world.
Dr Jacob W. Martin is a material and combustion scientist with a strong interest in carbon nanomaterials, renewable energy and pollution reduction. Jacob completed a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Chemistry and Physics followed by Masters in Chemistry at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). This included research in the areas of ultrafast spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, Bayesian data analysis, computational chemistry and microfluidics. He received his PhD in 2019 at the University of Cambridge studying the formation of soot in flames using molecular dynamics and electronic structure methods to explore the self-assembly of soot and disordered carbon materials. In 2020 he was a research fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology in Singapore working with industry to decarbonise the petrochemical sector. He is currently based in the Hydrogen Storage Research Group and Carbon Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. His other research interests include flexoelectricity in 2D carbons, 3D graphene, giant fullerenes, carbon blacks, the reactivity of carbon nanostructures, methane decarbonisation and biochar.