Keena Trowell’s primary research interests are metal-water reactions, hydrogen energy, and energy storage. A shift to low-carbon and zero-carbon energy is necessary to arrest climate change. Renewable power is rapidly decreasing in price, but a key challenge remains: how to store that energy and move that energy. Seasonal energy storage and international trade of clean energy is especially needed.
Hydrogen is the logical base fuel for a decarbonized energy system, nevertheless, challenges related to its handling, storage, and transportation persist. In her research, Dr. Trowell has proposed metal-water reactions as a method to produce hydrogen on-demand and in situ. Her patented research on supercritical metal-water reactions demonstrates that coarse aluminum particles will fully react to produce hydrogen on-demand.
The longterm objective of her research is to develop power solutions that will work for hard to decarbonize sectors. Her research interests include:
• Supercritical water oxidation
• Power-to-X and circular fuels
• Clean energy solutions for remote, off-grid regions
• Clean fuelling strategies for applications such as remote industry, long-distance transportation and transoceanic shipping
• The confluence of energy and water resources, dubbed the water-energy nexus
• Life-cycle assessment of novel clean energy carriers
• Techno-economic analysis of clean energy carriers and systems
Everly, E., Durocher, A., Pinkerton, N., Trowell, K.A., Bergthorson J. M., A techno-economic analysis of H2-based energy carriers. (2022) Applied Energy, in review
Trowell K.A., Blanchet, J., Goroshin, S., Frost, D.L., Bergthorson J. M., Hydrogen production via reaction of metals with supercritical water. (2022) Sustainable energy and fuels 6, pp. 3394-3401
Trowell, K.A., Goroshin, S., Frost, D.L., Bergthorson J. M., Hydrogen production rates of aluminum reacting with varying densities of supercritical water. (2022) RSC Advances, 12 (20) pp. 12335-12343
Trowell, K.A., Goroshin, S., Frost, D.L., Bergthorson J. M., The use of supercritical water to enable the catalyst-free oxidation of coarse aluminum. (2020) Sustainable energy and fuels 4 (11), pp. 5628-5635.
Trowell, K.A., Goroshin, S., Frost, D.L., Bergthorson J. M., Aluminum and its role as a recyclable, sustainable carrier of renewable energy. (2020) Applied Energy 275, 115112.
Trowell, K.A., et al., Effect of particle coating on the thermal response of mixtures of micro- and nano-aluminum particles with water. (2015) Journal of thermal analysis and calorimetry 127 (1), pp. 1027-1036.