A Kamloops high school student is headed overseas to take part in a worldwide science fair.
Adam Patton, 16, is headed to the United Arab Emirates city to share his innovative approach to generating hydrogen fuel.
Hydrogen production typically uses expensive metals such as platinum to split water molecules in two.
But through his research, Patton has tested alternative metal electrodes to make the process less expensive.
“I’ve found a way to do it many times cheaper using these alternative metals and I hope it takes off and is able to be applied to the real world,” he told KTW before setting off on Friday.
Patton has focused on renewable energy since he first took part in science fair’s at St. Ann’s Academy in Grade 8.
“From there I’ve taken an interest. I think finding alternative fuel sources should definitely be a big focus for our society and I want to aid that effort as much as I can,” he said.
Hydrogen is a zero emission fuel that can be used to power vehicles using fuel cells. Most major vehicle manufacturers have tested or put in production vehicles that could make use of hydrogen as fuel.
“This is important because hydrogen fuel has the potential to supply 25 per cent of the renewable energy needed by the year 2050,” Patton said.
Patton has made multiple appearances at regional science fairs and two at the Canada-Wide Science Fair, with the last one held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he picked up a silver medal for his efforts.
Now, at Expo-Sciences International, which will be held in Abu Dhabi from Sept. 22 to Sept. 28, Patton will be one of 1,200 students from all over the world showcasing their STEM projects.
Science is something that runs in the Patton family. His grandfather is an engineer and his mother a science teacher, so along with the help of his St. Ann’s teachers, he’s had some help along the way.
So it’s no surprise the worldwide fair is something the 16-year-old is looking forward to — and will benefit from.
“Seeing what other people have done, I’m sure it will spark some more curiosity in myself,” he said.
Six other B.C. students are also headed to Abu Dhabi. Patton is the only one from the Interior.