Research and Sponsored Programs

Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen 


University of Toledo's Involvement

  • National Lab Day - October 2019 meeting with Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Director, Mark Peters
  • Work with INL and Davis-Besse on hydrogen project - Fall 2019
  • Expansion to other sources of hydrogen (nuclear and solar) and regional demand for low-carbon hydrogen (<2 kg CO2/kg H2)
  • Preparation for expected competition for hydrogen hub
  • Ensure that Toledo and Midwest is a leader in the transition to a hydrogen economy

Activities to Date

  • Stakeholder Workshops
    • January 2020, December 2021, January 2022
  • July 2021 - Submitted Response to Deptment of Energy (DOE) Request For Information (RFI)
  • Summer 2021 - Organized a team to prepare for the DOE Hub Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
  • March 2021 - Submitted Response to a second clean hydrgen DOE RFI
  • Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen Coalition focus on low-carbon hydrogen production from nuclear power supplemented by solar power
    • Teams formed to address:  Commercialization, DEI | Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, R&D | Research and Development

What We Have Learned

• Across the board industry commitments to decarbonization

• Low-carbon H2 demand by industry is enormous in region

• Oxygen also of industry interest

• Major technical questions need support from national laboratories, industry and universities

• Mitigation of transition costs to hydrogen economy critical for implementation

Toledo and Ohio-Midwest region well positioned as focus of hydrogen hub

• Demonstration project underway at Davis-Besse—shovel ready projects

Engaged Participants

DOE National Laboratories

  • Idaho
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Lawrence Livermore
  • Argonne

Higher Education

  • The University of Toledo
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Michigan Technical University
  • Owens Community College
  • Discussions with:
    - University of Michigan
    - Ohio State University


  • General Electric Aviation
  • Energy Harbor
  • First Solar
  • Linde
  • Nexceris
  • Oregon Clean Energy
  • Cleveland Cliffs
  • Plug Power
  • Rudolph Libbe | GEM
  • Nooter Toledo
  • North Star Bluescope Steel
  • NEL
  • Swagelok
  • GEM Industrial, Inc.


  • Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition
  • Toledo Area Regional Transit Autority | TARTA
  • Regional Growth Partnership
  • ConnecToledo


RegionAL Clean Hydrogen Hub

Demostrate the production of clean hydrogen with a focus on nuclear and solar energy primary sources

  • Advantages
    • Ultra-pure hydrogen
    • Meets DOE standards
    • No sequestration of CO2 required
    • Immediately available with projects under development
  • Compared to hydrogen from fossil fuels
    • Challenge to meet DOE requirements for CO2 emissions
    • Expensive and difficult to sequester CO2


Great Lakes Clean Hydrogen


Major Hydrogen Consumers | Toledo and Ohio

  • Cleveland Cliffs steel plants in Toledo and Cleveland
  • General Electric - Cincinnati
  • Oil Refineries
  • Glass Industry
  • Nation's largest producer of solar panels
  • Warehouses for forklifts and Plug Power support
  • Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority | TARTA
  • Ammonia Production - Lima
  • Intel Microelectronic Plant - Columbus
  • Methanol Production
  • Proximity to Transportation Modalities - Rail | Marine | Airports


Why the Great Lakes

  • Production of high-purity hydrogen
  • 20,500 MW of nuclear energy generation in the Great Lakes region
    • Hydrogen potential of 8,900-12,300 tons per day from electrolysis
  • Excellent electricity grid support for power purchase agreements
  • Robust pipeline infrastructure
  • Solar fields and wind farms
  • Reduction in harmful air emissions through nuclear or renewable powered electrolysis of water

Image of construction and factory workers

Why Toledo and Ohio

  • Highly skilled union workforce
  • Strong engineering construction firms
  • Industry experience working with hydrogen (including support from industrial gas suppliers)
  • Excellent support from higher education institutions
    • Workforce development programs
    • Local research support connected to national laboratories
    • Many strong engineering programs
  • Investments can address local DEI and Environmental Justice needs

Our Vision

  • Northern Ohio-Southern Michigan is central to a Great Lakes Hydrogen Hub
  • High purity hydrogen required for fuel cells, microelectronics and other applications with near-zero CO2 emissions
  • Rapid deployment without need for carbon capture & sequestration
  • University research centers linked to national labs to support regional industry in transition
  • University leadership in DEI and Environmental Justice
  • An alliance of major corporations, universities and national labs to lead and manage the Hub


Our Plan

  • Submit concept paper to DOE FOA (Fall, 2022) in response to June 6 Notice of Intent
  • Form new Ohio non-profit entity driven by industry leadership
  • Submit proposal for hub Spring, 2023 requesting $1.25 billion
  • Solicit state support to assist industry investments
  • Develop R&D center at University of Toledo connected with national laboratories and other universities
  • Integrate DEI impact with hydrogen deployment investments, workforce development and R&D center activities
  • Look for immediate projects and long-term opportunities (beyond life of Hub award)

For more information

Frank Calzonetti, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
UToledo Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Office: 419.530.4749 | Email:

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Last Updated: 9/11/23