Goran Lindbergh and Barack Obama at KTH.
Goran Lindbergh and Barack Obama at KTH.

Barack Obama discussed fuel cells at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Thursday, September 5, 2013

During his visit to Sweden, Barack Obama met Göran Lindbergh, professor of applied electrochemistry at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and leader of the thematic area Energy Storage at SHC. The American president asked the researchers about practical applications for fuel cells.

– A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, says Göran Lindbergh, who hopes that the visit will lead to greater international ventures.

President Obama visited KTH on Wednesday in the company of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and the Minister for Information Technology and Energy, Anna-Karin Hatt. Lindbergh’s research colleagues Carina Lagergren and Rakel Wreland Lindström were also present to demonstrate the fuel cell research.

Sleipner, the fuel cell car constructed by KTH students, was used by Göran Lindbergh as an example of how fuel cell technology can be put into practice. Sleipner can run 1.500 kms on hydrogene gas containing energy equivalent to 1 litre of gasoline.

Göran Lindbergh visar Sleipner för Obama.

Above: The fuel cell car Sleipner was built by KTH students, and competed in Shell Eco Marathon earlier this year. Photo: Peter Larsson

– I think it is important to give concrete examples of how fuel cells can be used for sustainable transport systems, he says. From a research point of view as well as a way of illustrating how the knowledge can be transferred to a student level.

During the ten minutes that Obama spent with the researchers, the president was also shown a fuel cell that uses olive oil production residues to produce electricity, and the mobile phone charger PowerTrekk that is charged by tap water.

Obama tittar på mobilladdare.

Above: The cell phone charger PowerTrekk is charged by tap water, and is one of the first commercial breakthroughs for fuel cell technology. Photo: Peter Larsson

– We are very pleased with the event. Now let´s hope that this will benefit the environmental technology research at KTH in general, and also attract more students, says Göran Lindbergh.

Radio report, Klotet, P1: KTH-forskare visar bränsleceller för Obama >>