Three Texas A&M research teams from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Science and Dwight Look College of Engineering have been awarded significant funding for research into alternative energy sources from Texas A&M’s Energy Resources Program (ERP).
The three teams will conduct research regarding production of hydrogen, refinements to biofuel production and applications of nanotechnology to solar cells.
(Media-Newswire.com) – Three Texas A&M research teams from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Science and Dwight Look College of Engineering have been awarded significant funding for research into alternative energy sources from Texas A&M’s Energy Resources Program ( ERP ). The three teams will conduct research regarding production of hydrogen, refinements to biofuel production and applications of nanotechnology to solar cells.
ERP funds research initiatives in advanced and emerging technologies in energy to foster interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research programs to address immediate and future energy needs of the State of Texas.
In January, the Division of Research and Graduate Studies requested proposals for the ERP focusing on alternative sources of energy to enhance Texas’ ability to diversify and create new companies.
Twenty proposals were received and three were selected for funding. Grants were awarded to the winning research teams ( amounts listed are totals for support over a two-year period ). The teams include:
* D. Wayne Goodman, Paul S. Cremer and James D. Batteas, all of the Department of Chemistry, College of Science: “Fueling the Hydrogen Economy: Catalytic Approaches to Hydrogen Production,” $400,000. Their project will combine the collaborators’ expertise in an exploration of the possibilities for developing new catalysts for converting hydrocarbons into hydrogen at low temperatures, which would be useful in providing hydrogen for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and may lead to improvements over current hydrogen production processes.
* Heather Wilkinson ( Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology ), Terry Gentry ( Department of Soil and Crop Sciences ), Daniel Ebbole ( Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology ), College of Agriculture, and Mark Holtzapple, Department of Chemical Engineering, Dwight Look College of Engineering: “Expanding and Transforming Options for Biofuel Production: Optimization of Microbial Conversion in the Carboxylate Platform,” $500,000. The team members will pool their knowledge as engineers and microbiologists in collecting and screening natural microbial communities to gain better understanding of differences between those communities as biological bases for the carboxylate platform. This chemical platform, developed by Dr. Holtzapple over the last 17 years, shows promise as a sustainable and economically viable way to convert cellulose into biofuels.
* Xing Cheng ( Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering ) and Hung-Jue Sue ( Department of Mechanical Engineering ), Dwight Look College of Engineering: “Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on Carbon Nanotubes and Semiconductor Nanoparticles,” $100,000. The researchers hope to develop a new kind of solar cell that uses tiny structures called single-walled carbon nanotubes in a stable film, synthesized nanoparticles of zinc oxide, and a novel mixture of three dyes that are designed for maximum absorption of the sun’s rays. The team hopes that their work will lead to much more efficient, stable and economical solar panels for generating electricity that can serve as a competitive and practical alternative to fossil fuels.
Funds awarded through the ERP are expected to generate sufficient advances and other resources necessary for submission of competitive proposals and collaborations. The research supported by these grants will result in a major proposal application submission based on results from the ERP grant.
For more information contact John Holder, Communications Coordinator, Division of Research and Graduate Studies, at 979-845-8369 or [email protected]