A UCF Florida Solar Energy Center scientist with 40 years of experience in research and innovation in the field of hydrogen energy has been selected to receive an international award named after the visionary futuristic writer Jules Verne.
Nazim Muradov has spent his entire career promoting and popularizing the ideas of the global hydrogen economy, i.e. using hydrogen as an inexhaustible carbon-free fuel, starting at a time when the notion of clean energy was almost non-existent.
“Dr. Nazim Muradov has been one of the pioneers of the Hydrogen Movement that started in the mid-1970’s,” said Ibrahim Dincer, an engineering professor at the at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and vice president for strategy for the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, who nominated Muradov for the award.
The award is named after the prolific novelist Jules Verne who famously predicted in his 1874 novel The Mysterious Island that hydrogen produced from water “will be the coal of the future.”
Muradov said that after the energy crisis of 1973, initiated by an oil embargo, it became clear that alternative energy systems have to be urgently developed and implemented worldwide.
The prospect of a hydrogen-based economy began to take hold and many countries around the world initiated hydrogen research programs, including The Florida Solar Energy Center which was established by the Florida legislature in 1975.
Muradov joined FSEC in 1990 and quickly used his hydrogen expertise to secure grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA to develop novel technological approaches to environmentally friendly hydrogen production.
He has invented several processes for efficient production of hydrogen fuel from resources such as solar energy, water, biomass and biogas.
Muradov holds 44 U.S. patents in the field of hydrogen energy and technology and environmental remediation and is the lead inventor on 27 of those.
He worked with colleagues at FSEC and NASA Kennedy Space Center to develop tape that can be used to detect hydrogen leaks. That tape, which was marketed by the UCF spinoff company HySense, has been recognized with a 2014 R&D 100 award and in 2016 was recognized with NASA’s Commercial Invention of the Year Award.
The broad scale impact of his work is accentuated by the fact that he wrote an invited article on hydrogen fuel, its production and uses for the Encyclopedia of Sustainability in 2012. He also published a book “Liberating Energy from Carbon: Introduction to Decarbonization” which led to an appearance on the Chicago-based nationally syndicated “Greenpreneur Show” in August, 2017.
While he has seen many advances in the development of a hydrogen economy, Muradov said it will still be several years before there is widespread use of hydrogen fueled vehicles, largely because of the lack of a refueling infrastructure.
But he added that hydrogen fuel cells are currently being used in many areas including distributed power generation, back-up power, buses, forklifts, a variety of military applications, space exploration and others.
Muradov will be presented with the award at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference, June 19, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Jules Verne award is presented every other year by the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, the world’s largest association of hydrogen energy researchers.