The innovation engine for new materials

Steven Addison


Brywood Elementary

Grade Level: 


Teaching Position: 

Science Specialist


Michael Gordon




Oleksandr Pololnskyi

Research Project Year: 


Research Project Title: 

Methane Pyrolysis

Research Project Description: 

A major challenge of our time is to decrease the level of greenhouse gases to reduce global warming. Over ninety percent of global hydrogen is produced through a process of steam methane reforming (SMR) of natural gas which is contributing nearly 900 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Today, there is a need for sustainable innovations. Here at UCSB, the Mike Gordon Lab is studying a clean energy solution known as methane pyrolysis to produce hydrogen gas in a sustainable way. Methane pyrolysis does not involve the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere but involves the decomposition of methane (natural gas) into hydrogen gas and solid carbon. We are studying conditions that influence the rate at which methane is converted to hydrogen and carbon. Specifically, improved FTIR reference standards were established during my work in the Gordon lab and more efficient experimental design was accomplished that will enhance future work in this project. By improving the efficiency of methane pyrolysis, our work contributes to a more sustainable future. 

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