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Carnegie Mellon's John Kitchin receives early career award

PITTSBURGHCarnegie Mellon University's John Kitchin was awarded $750,000 over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Energy for developing new materials for producing hydrogen and oxygen from water using electrochemistry.

"I was elated to hear that my research had been selected for such a prestigious honor,''said Kitchin, an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. "This work tackles one of the primary hurdles in efficiently obtaining hydrogen from water.''

Kitchin is one of 69 researchers nationwide to receive funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as part of the Energy Department's Early Career Research Program. The new effort is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during their crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work.

"This research has unlimited potential for helping the United States became more energy efficient as Kitchin and his research team work to find more efficient ways to store energy,'' said Andrew Gellman, head of Carnegie Mellon's Chemical Engineering Department and research director of a new consortium created to support the research program of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratory system.

Kitchin said his research is a great way to give the nation's "hydrogen economy'' a jumpstart. "Our research is designed to make hydrogen production from water more efficient, which will, ultimately enable the development of future energy systems to store intermittent renewable energy in chemical form and to make better use of biomass to fuel everything from cars to large turbines and factories. The oxygen produced from this process may play a crucial role in helping to manage the CO2 emissions through advanced fossil energy power systems such as oxycombustion and gasification,'' said Kitchin, recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship in 2004 for study at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, Germany.

Kitchin completed his B.S. degree in chemistry from North Carolina State in 1996. He received his Master's Degree in 2002 in materials science, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware in 2004. He lives in the city's Point Breeze neighborhood with his wife Neetha and their 1 -year-old daughter Layla.


Contact: Chriss Swaney
Carnegie Mellon University

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