Breakthrough in Hydrogen Sensor Development: Kazakh Researchers Achieve Unprecedented Detection Sensitivity, Paving the Way for Safe Hydrogen Economy

In a groundbreaking collaboration between Professor Nurxat Nuraje's group at NU SEDS and Assistant Professor Salimgerey Adilov of NU SSH, a revolutionary advancement in hydrogen sensor technology has been achieved. Recently published in the prestigious journal Advanced Composite and Hybrid Materials, boasting an impressive impact factor of 20.1 in 2022, the research presents a polypyrrole-based composite sensor capable of detecting hydrogen concentrations as low as 5ppm. This achievement represents a significant leap beyond current capabilities in this domain.

This innovation, explained by Nurxat Nuraje, Associate Professor of the School of Engineering and Digital Science, holds immense significance for the future of hydrogen energy. With hydrogen emerging as a vital component of green energy, detecting low concentrations of hydrogen gas is as critical as its production and storage. Professor Nuraje highlighted its applications, particularly in transportation, where hydrogen powers vehicles through fuel cells, producing environmentally benign water as a by-product.

However, the potential explosiveness when hydrogen encounters oxygen underscores the urgency for reliable detection technology, especially as economies transition towards hydrogen-based energy. Kazakhstan's President, Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has outlined the country's commitment to decarbonization by 2060, emphasizing the need for such technological advancements.

The developed polypyrrole-based sensor not only outperforms existing materials but also offers flexibility, operating efficiently under normal atmospheric conditions, unlike metal oxide-based sensors that require high temperatures and pressures. Professor Nuraje revealed that while existing polypyrrole-based composites could detect up to 50ppm, their sensor breakthrough achieves unparalleled sensitivity at 5ppm, a game-changer for hydrogen detection technology.

The research was spearheaded by Ms. Dana Kanzhigitova, a Research Assistant, and Perizat Askar, a first-year PhD student, in collaboration with a team of dedicated researchers and students from various departments and institutions, including undergraduate student Aslan Tapkharov, Dr. Vladislav Kudryashov, and Dr. Munziya Abutalip among others.

Their concerted effort, led by Prof. Nuraje and Prof. Salimgerey Adilov, showcased the remarkable potential of Kazakhstani researchers in driving forward crucial advancements for safer and more efficient hydrogen applications. Dr. Raikhan Rakhmetullayeva, from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, also contributed significantly to this pioneering endeavor.

This milestone achievement not only propels Kazakhstan's scientific prowess onto the global stage but also lays a solid foundation for a safer and more sustainable hydrogen-based future.

For the full publication, visit Advanced Composite and Hybrid Materials by clicking on it.