Cal State L.A. celebrates opening of its Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, the only university-operated station of its kind in the U.S.

California State University, Los Angeles celebrated the grand opening of its new Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility Wednesday, May 7. The facility is the largest university-operated hydrogen plant of its kind in the U.S.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting was one of several events taking place Investiture Week, which culminates Friday, May 9, with the inauguration of Cal State L.A.’s seventh President William A. Covino.

The event featured remarks by: Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino; Richard Corey, executive officer of the California Air Resource Board (CARB); Jason Marcinkoski, technology development manager, U.S. Department of Energy; Steve Mazor, principal automotive engineer at the Automobile Club of Southern California; and Dr. Clark E. Parker, Sr., Governing Board Member, South Coast Air Quality Management District.

“I am proud that Cal State L.A. is a trailblazer on the ‘Hydrogen Highway’ in expanding the knowledge and use of hydrogen fuel,” said Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino. “By their very nature, engineering students are inquisitive and tenacious, and I feel confident that the training they receive at the Hydrogen Research and Fueling Station will lead the way in developing new technologies in the years to come.”

The Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility is a cornerstone of the university’s Sustainable Energy and Transportation Technology Program. The facility provides students applied research experience and a living-laboratory environment essential for today’s and tomorrow’s technologically-advanced workforce, and enables them to help the industry meet the needs of drivers who rely on hydrogen fuel.

“This state-of-the-art facility will be an important and necessary research component as we continue to move forward deploying progressively cleaner technologies in the Southland,” said Dr. Clark E. Parker, Sr., member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board.  “Enhancing access to hydrogen fuel is an integral part of the technology portfolio we will need to achieve clean air health standards.”

The Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility incorporates state-of-the-art equipment to test the technical and commercial viability of hydrogen produced on-site from water, as opposed to hydrogen from reforming natural gas. The station is also be unique in its integration of technologies that will allow faculty researchers and students to work with emerging technology.

Cal State L.A. students, who represent the next generation of alternative fuel and advanced transportation specialists, will work toward improving the production capacity and efficiency of sustainably produced hydrogen fuel. The university has embarked on a multi-faceted effort to teach sustainable energy systems and engage in relevant applied research to mitigate the chronic problems of fossil fuel energy dependence and air pollution.

The growing hydrogen-using segment of the public will benefit a great deal from the station’s location, which is in close proximity to the convergence of four major freeways; the 10, 5, 60, and 710. The 710 Freeway is the most polluted transportation corridor in California due to heavy truck traffic traveling to and from the Port of Los Angeles.

“The station is also now part of California’s growing network of hydrogen stations, and a major addition to Governor Brown’s “Zero Emission Action Plan,” said Cal State L.A. Technology Professor David Blekhman. “It enables local public transportation agencies and automobile manufacturers to increase deployment of their clean hydrogen-powered vehicles in Los Angeles. And overall, it represents a promising new opportunity to shift the driving public and industry away from petroleum-based internal combustion engines.” 

California and the Los Angeles basin are nearly 100 percent dependent on outside sources for transportation fuel and approximately 60 percent dependent on outside energy sources for home and industrial usage. Significant advances in hydrogen production technology, such as fuel cells, hydrogen generation, storage, and deployment infrastructure are needed to create commercial viability and consumer confidence. 

Significant advances in hydrogen production technology, such as fuel cells, hydrogen generation, storage, and deployment infrastructure are needed to create commercial viability and consumer confidence. 

The Hydrogen Fueling Station and Research Facility is made possible by funding from the California Air Resources Board, Department of Energy, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Mobile Sources Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, The Ahmanson Foundation, and the Automobile Club of Southern California.                                  

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Working for California since 1947:  California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 230,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. www.calstatela.edu
 
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