Energy Research Laboratory

Welcome to the Energy Research Laboratory Web Site

energy research lab logo 1

Energy Research Lab         Lab Members          ProjectsEnergyResearchLabLogo

Formerly the Hydrogen Production and Utilization Laboratory (We still investigate hydrogen system fundamentals but we do lots more too!)

Mission Statement

The objective of our research is to increase the body of knowledge regarding energy conversion methods. We perform technical research on all aspects of mechanical and electrical power applications with an emphasis on novel fuels and powertrain systems.  All the research we undertake has an end goal of expanding use of renewable resources, allowing more efficient use of traditional resources, improving reliability of power systems, and/or lowering pollution and costs associated with power systems. We investigate both mobile and stationary power systems including fuel cells, reformers and reformation methods, fuels and liquid fuel synthesis, endothermic fuels and combustion thereof, novel refrigeration systems, Hybrid rocket systems, the internal combustion engine and electric drive powertrains including hybrid drive vehicles and vehicle systems.   Fundamentally we are an experimental group but we do use extensive modeling to add appropriate insight to processes that we are investigating.


The Energy Research lab houses specialty equipment that is used to demonstrate novel energy conversion methods including:

Reformation Reactors capable of being configured as Steam reformers, Autothermal Reformers, and Partial Oxidation Reformers.  Both gaseous and liquid fuels can be investigated at a variety of temperatures, pressures, Steam to Carbon ratios and Oxygen to Carbon ratios (when applicable).  Full instrumentation and control systems are in place for careful monitoring of species concentration, temperature, yield, conversion and selectivity. The reformation systems can utilize both pelletized and monolithic catalysts and are designed for testing the state of the art heat transfer and mass transfer enhancement methods.

Modified Internal Combustion Engine systems for research of bi-fuel applications and exhaust heat harvesting via thermochemical recuperation methods. We have both single and dual cylinder SI engines and a single cylinder CI engine.

A Hybrid rocket Motor for testing hydrogen light off techniques

Hydrogen Combustion Systems

Past equipment:

A 50 kW methanol powered Fuel Cell Bus (georgetown TBB-1)


A Hydrogen powered Fuel cell Motorcycle


Aluminum powered Mobile hydrogen generators

Featured Personnel: see also Lab Members for current and past students

Lab Manager: Chibuike Agba

Armando Gomez Hernandez

Zane Hays

Allison Clague

Yen-Chun (Steven) Chou


Past Personnel:

Graduate Student Researcher: Kellen Ochi Hey Look Kellen was featured in the College of Engineering news



David Davieau (volunteer)David Davieau

Graduate Student Researcher : Nadia Richards             Hey Look Nadia is making us famous! See You Tube video here

nadia in the lab

Graduate Student Researcher : Justin Hwang


Graduate Student Researcher: Brian NolandBrian pic1 bike set up at Dayton 2012 smaller

Graduate Student Researcher: Steven Wirya


Graduate Student Researcher: Edgar Necoechea


Graduate Student Researcher: Steven Wong

Our Research Projects 

You can get a good idea of past and current projects by following our publications link.  Thesis and dissertation titles can be seen with our Lab Members link. For a general overview follow our Projects link.



We are newly located off the main UC Davis Campus at Spafford Hall.  For detailed directions to the laboratory please call us at 530-754-5352


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