Professor John Andrews is a renewable-energy hydrogen specialist with 40 years' experience in sustainable energy.
Professor Andrews is currently leading an ARENA-funded project into 'A proton flow reactor system for medium- and large-scale electrical energy storage and bulk export of hydrogenated carbon-based material'. This ~$1 m project started in August 2018 and is due to be completed in August 2021. Eldor Corporation in Italy is an industry partner, and Kyushu University and the Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research in Japan are academic research partners.
Professor Andrews played a pioneering role in developing and deploying wind energy technologies for Australia in the early 1980s, and initiated the first thorough investigation of the wind energy potential in Victoria while Policy Manager at the Victorian Solar Energy Council in 1984. His seminal book, Living Better with Less: How to Cut Waste and Improve our Lives (Penguin, 1981) was one of the first works to propose and articulate sustainable development in the Australian context.
Since returning to academia in the mid 1990s, he has been the project manager and lead researcher in a number of major nationally-funded sustainable energy R&D projects, and set up the renewable-energy hydrogen research group in SAMME in 2003. He was a Cluster Project Leader and on the Steering Committee of the CSIRO National Hydrogen Materials Alliance (2006-9). He was the Project Leader of the $1.6 million RMIT Capability and Technology Demonstrator project, "Development and demonstration of a low signature, rechargeable and portable energy supply using reversible hydrogen fuel cells to support forward operating bases", funded by the Australian Department of Defence, which successfully demonstrated this novel technology in May 2017. Prior to this role, he led the RMIT Reversible Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Supply research project funded by Defence Materials Technology Centre and Victorian Defence Science Institute.
He was one of the four leading RMIT energy researchers who participated in the Micro Urban Solar Integrated Concentrators project funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency under the US–Australia Solar Energy Collaboration ($4.5 million total over 2013 - 2016). His publications include "Re-envisioning the role of hydrogen energy in a global sustainable energy" (International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2012); an advanced review, "The role of hydrogen energy in a global sustainable energy strategy" (2014, Wiley International Reviews on Science and Environment - WIRES); "Towards a 'proton flow battery': Investigation of a reversible PEM fuel cell with integrated metal hydride hydrogen storage" (International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2014); and (2018). "Technical feasibility of a proton battery with an activated carbon electrode" (International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 2018).
Accomplishments / achievements
- Lead author in two key papers reporting on the technical feasibility of a proton battery (2014 and 2018, see under Publications below)
- Member of Steering Committee of CSIRO's report into Hydrogen Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D)
- Priorities & Opportunities for Australia, published in October 2019
- Project Leader of the $1.6 million RMIT Capability and Technology Demonstrator project, which successfully demonstrated a low signature, rechargeable and portable energy supply using reversible hydrogen fuel cells in May 2017.
- Director of Australian Association of Hydrogen Energy (2011-2017)
- Represented RMIT University as a sustainable energy expert in university research missions to Tianjin, China, in 2011 and Mexico City, Mexico, in 2012.
- Member of Victorian Renewable Energy Mission to Sardinia, Italy, 2011.
- Director of RMIT-NORTH Link Greenhouse Challenge program, which won a Special Recognition award at the Institution of Engineers Australia Awards Ceremony, 2011
- Nominated by the Head of School, SAMME, and the then-SET Portfolio for a Carrick Citation teaching award in 2008 for his work on the RMIT-NORTH Link Greenhouse Challenge program and the opportunities it has provided for Bachelor and Masters engineering students to undertake research projects with industry on greenhouse gas emission reduction options.
- Recipient of a RMIT Research Award in 2007, Category 1 grant award, for CSIRO National Hydrogen Materials Alliance, Project 6 Development of materials for electrolysis systems.
- The NIETL/NORTH Link Greenhouse Challenge program funded by the Australian Greenhouse Office in which he was the program manager was a Finalist in the United Nations Environment Awards (Vic.) 2000, and a finalist in the Institution of Engineers Australia Engineering Excellence awards for greenhouse programs in 2001.
- The RMIT Energy CARE group won for its successful demonstration of heat pipe heat exchangers for industrial waste heat recovery at Buttercup Bakeries under a grant from the Energy Research Development Corporation, in which he was the project manager and a lead researcher:
- A National Energy Award from the Commonwealth Government in 1997
- A Business/Higher Education Round Table Award for Outstanding Achievement in Collaborative R&D in 1998
- Project Leader, 'A proton flow reactor system for medium- and large-scale electrical energy storage and bulk export of hydrogenated carbon-based material', funded by ARENA
- Leader, Renewable-Energy Hydrogen research group within School of Engineering
- Thesis project coordinator and lecturer, Master of Engineering (Sustainable Energy) program
- PhD (RMIT University)
- MA (Cambridge University)
- BA (Nat. Sci.) (Cambridge University)
- Baird, A.,Andrews, J. (2023). Storage of atomic hydrogen in multilayer graphene In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, , 1 - 16
- Tseng, Y.,Retita, I.,Andrews, J.,Liang, D.,CHAN, S. (2023). Tailor-designed vanadium alloys for hydrogen storage in remote area and movable power supply systems In: Journal of Energy Storage, 68, 1 - 11
- Arif, M.,Cheung, C.,Andrews, J. (2022). Numerical investigation of effects of different flow channel configurations on the 100 cm2 PEM fuel cell performance under different operating conditions In: Catalysis Today, 397-399, 449 - 462
- Andrews, J.,Niya, S.,Ojha, R. (2022). Electrochemical hydrogen storage in porous carbons with acidic electrolytes: Uncovering the potential In: Current Opinion in Electrochemistry, 31, 1 - 5
- Niya, S.,Andrews, J. (2022). On charge distribution and storage in porous conductive carbon structure In: Electrochimica Acta, 402, 1 - 12
- Andrews, J.,Ojha, R.,Niya, S.,Seibt, S. (2022). Electrochemical storage reactions of hydrogen in activated carbon from phenolic resin In: Catalysis Today, 397-399, 155 - 164
- Rezaei Niya, S.,Heidari, S.,Andrews, J. (2022). Enhancement of the performance of a proton battery In: Journal of Power Sources, 543, 1 - 11
- Arif, M.,Cheung, C.,Andrews, J. (2021). Diagnostic analysis of a single-cell Proton Exchange Membrane unitised regenerative fuel cell using numerical simulation In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 46, 29488 - 29500
- Mourshed, M.,Niya, S.,Ojha, R.,Rosengarten, G.,Andrews, J.,Shabani, B. (2021). Carbon-based slurry electrodes for energy storage and power supply systems In: Energy Storage Materials, 40, 461 - 489
- Lai, K.,Arif, M.,Andrews, J.,Cheung, C. (2021). Impact of Relative Humidity and Length-scale on the Performance of a Large PEM Fuel Cell In: International Journal of Renewable Energy Research, 11, 1609 - 1620
21 PhD Completions and 5 Masters by Research Completions5 PhD Current Supervisions
- Developing the proton battery and proton flow reactor systems for energy storage. Funded by: Study Melbourne Research Partnerships Program from (2021 to 2022)
- A prototype portable, rechargeable and silent power supply based on a reversible hydrogen fuel cell. Funded by: Department of Defence Contract from (2020 to 2024)
- A proton flow reactor system for large-scale electrical energy storage and bulk export of hydrogenated carbon based material. Funded by: 073-Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) R&D Grants 2018 onwards from (2018 to 2021)
- Proving the technical feasibility of a proton battery. Funded by: United States Office of Naval Research Grant 2015 from (2016 to 2017)
- Micro Urban Solar Integrated Concentrators (MUSIC). Funded by: ARENA Hydrogen Research & Development Funding Round from (2013 to 2019)