UST HAS been named the National Fuel Testing Center by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) after powering explorations in alternative energy.

The DOST will be forming a facility providing testing services to fuel cell researchers in the country and will be supervised by the UST Fuel Cell team led by Asst. Prof. Bernard Tongol from the College of Science.

This facility was made possible through Tongol’s efforts on the project “Nanostructured Electrocatalyst Composites for Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell: Preparation, Characterization, and Performance Evaluation” that focuses on ethanol’s potential as an alternative fuel source.

Ethanol is a widely used fuel by consumers for being hydrogen-rich and less toxic compared to its methanol counterpart.

Tongol said the project could be an avenue to increase awareness of Thomasians on alternative energy research, including studies on fuel cell and nanotechnology.

”The prototype that is being developed in this project could be used for low power devices with potential impact to the community,” Tongol told the Varsitarian in an email.

He said this could be an advantage in fuel cell-powered-emergency LED devices that could be used for search and rescue efforts in a natural disaster.

The project is funded by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology, Research and Development department of the DOST with a budget of P15 million for two years beginning November of 2014 until the same month in 2016.

Advanced equipment were also acquired through the grant, such as a fuel cell test station and a potentiostat, which are currently being operated in the University’s Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences.

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The Department of Energy Systems Engineering in Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology stands as the project’s collaborating agency. Mia Rosienna P. Mallari

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