Inside INdiana Business

Purdue professor to discuss climate change with unique audience

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Purdue professor John Sheffield has discussed the role of hydrogen as a means for a sustainable energy future with students and colleagues, and now a different audience this week: Pope Francis. The engineering technology professor is a member of a delegation planning to discuss climate change with the pope on Friday, Feb. 7. 

“Today, as an industrial gas, hydrogen is already a big global business,” Sheffield said. “It is used by industry for refining petroleum, treating metals, producing fertilizer and processing foods.”

The delegation was notified in late December of the opportunity to appear before the pope and have a one-page petition prepared.

“It’s language that says, ‘This is our belief, our values and our vision,’” Sheffield said. “We believe that hydrogen energy is the best and permanent solution for a sustainable energy future. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but for me and the individuals in our organization, this is a unique opportunity.”

Pope Francis made video comments to the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit, calling climate change a “serious and worrying phenomena.”

Sheffield says hydrogen has the highest energy value per unit mass of any fuel and has unique clean energy qualities for production, storage and distribution.