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Energy Systems



Current research in energy systems covers:

  • Alternative fuel testing
  • Hydrogen production using microbial fuel cells


MFC Fuel Cell Program, program funded by ONR, $450K (3 years), 2009-12

Hydrogen has been proposed as a clean and efficient energy carrier of the future, but current renewable hydrogen production processes are limited by high energy requirement or low hydrogen yield. Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) represent a new concept and method for efficient hydrogen recovery. This project is directed toward the investigation of using innovative carbon nano-materials to improve hydrogen production in MECs, as well as understanding the microbial activities and electrochemical responses for waste-to-hydrogen production.

Turbine Engine Alternative Fuel Testing Program, program funded by ONR-USNA, Phase I and 2, $49K, 2009-10

The USNA-CU Denver gas turbine fuel development program utilizes two Rolls-Royce Model 250 C20B split shaft gas turbine engines which are mounted on Superflow 902 water brake dynamometers. Blends of diesel #2 and a synthetic FT (simulating JP-8) are mixed in ratios from 0 to 50 percent of the FT fuel. Blends are also mixed with JP-5 and up to 50 percent synthetic FT fuel. Performance is evaluated by recording the shaft horsepower produced and the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC). Emissions data for carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (THC), nitrous oxides (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) are obtained by a 5-gas analyzer.

Faculty Information

Peter E. Jenkins, PhD, PE

Phone: 303-556-2894
Fax: 303-556-4744

Research Interests:

  • Energy conversion systems (solar, wind, fuel cells, hydrogen, alternative fuels)
  • Turbomachinery performance (pumps, compressors, and turbines)  
  • Engine analysis and development
  • Fluid mechanic applications
  • Heat transfer applications
  • Sports engineering


The Environmental and Hydraulics Laboratory in TEC102A is used for some of our research. While the lab is run by the Department of Civil Engineering, it is also set up for testing and measuring corrosion and microbial fuel cells (MFC) activities.

Related Courses

  • MECH 4238/5238 – Energy Conversion
  • ENGR 3012 – (Thermo I)               
  • MECH 4238/5238 – Combustion
  • MECH 4258/5258 – IC Engines I & II
  • MECH 4238/5238 – Solar Energy
  • MECH 4238/5238 – Turbomachinery Fundamentals

For complete, up-to-date course descriptions, visit the CU Denver academic catalog and search for the course numbers listed above.