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Next-Gen Methane Detector Project Funded (New Prod & Tech)
Date: 2015-02-27
Duke University's Jeffrey Glass, professor of electrical and computer engineering has recieved a three-year, $3 million grant from ARPA-E's Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) to design, build and commercialize a miniaturized, low-cost mass spectrometer methane detector. The MONITOR program is focused on reducing methane emissions associated with energy production.

A mass spectrometer can tell many elements and chemicals apart by variations in how they move through the device caused by differences in their mass.

Because the Duke research team expects that uses for their spectrometer will expand beyond environmental detection, Duke is partnering with RTI International to explore potential spin-off companies or tech transfer strategies. (Source: DOE, Duke University, 25 Feb., 2015) Contact: Duke University, Prof. Jeffrey Glass, (919) 660-5252,; ARPA-E, MONITOR,

Tags Methane news,  Spectrometer news,  Duke University news,  

New Super Energy-Saving Air Conditioning Vent R&D Scores $2Mn Funding (Funding)
Stony Brook Univ., (ARPA-E)
Date: 2015-01-12
A Stony Brook University research team has been awarded $2 million from the U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to develop an active air conditioning vent capable of modulating airflow distribution, velocity, and temperature designed for commercial or residential units. The aim of the the Electroactive Smart Air-Conditioner Vent Registers (eSaver) project is to create a vent that results in up to 30 percent energy savings through directed localization of existing building heating/cooling output. The high-tech vents will be designed to the size of the building and can vary depending on whether the building is a large industrial one or small, such as a residence

The grant is officially for 3 years with total funding of $2,049,260 under the category of ARPA-E Delivery Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA) projects. Each of the projects focuses on transforming energy delivery. (Source: Stony Brook University, US DOE, 8 Jan., 2015) Contact: Stony Brook University, Ya Wang, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, (631) 632-8322,,; DOE ARPA-E,

Tags Energy Efficiency news,  DOE ARPA-E news,  

Photonic Methane Monitoring R&D Finds Funding (Funding)
Date: 2014-12-31
Ten organizations will develop photonic gas monitoring systems under a $30 million program coordinated by the U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E). The Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) program focuses on low-cost solutions for detecting methane emissions associated with the production and transportation of oil and natural gas.

The following organizations will receive funding: IBM of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. -- $4.5mn; Rebellion Photonics of Houston -- $4.3 mn; PARC of Palo Alto, Calif. -- $3.4 mn; Physical Sciences Inc. of Andover, Mass. -- $2.9 mn; LI-Cor of Lincoln, Neb. -- $2.7 mn; Aeris Technologies of Redwood City, Calif.-- $2.4 mn; The University of Colorado Boulder -- $2.1 mn; Maxion Technologies Inc. of Jessup, Md. -- $1.9 mn; Bridger Photonics Inc. of Bozeman, Mont. -- $1.5 million; GE of Niskayuna, N.Y. -- $1.4 mn. (Source: U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E). Contact: U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency ,

Tags DOE ARPA-E news,  Methane news,  Emissions news,  Climate Change news,  Photonic news,  

DOE Funds Emissions Reductions, Energy Efficiency Projects (Funding)
Date: 2014-12-22
The U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has announced $60 million in funding for 22 new projects aimed at detecting and measuring methane emissions and developing localized thermal management systems that reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings. The projects are funded through ARPA-E's two newest programs: Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions (MONITOR) and Delivering Efficient Local Thermal Amenities (DELTA).

ARPA-E's MONITOR program focuses on reducing methane emissions associated with energy production. The program plans to provide $30 million to support 11 project teams in developing low-cost, highly sensitive systems that detect and measure methane associated with the production and transportation of oil and natural gas.

Details on all 22 projects may be found HERE. (Source: US DOE, ARPA-E, 17 Dec., 2014) Contact: US DOE,

Tags US DOE news,  ARPA-E news,  Carbon Emissions news,  Energy Efficiency news,  

$1.5Mn Granted for Methane Leak Detection System (Funding)
Bridger Photonics
Date: 2014-12-19
Bozeman, Montana-based laser technology specialist Bridger Photonics was recently awarded a $1.5 million U.S DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program grant to develop and build a mobile methane leak detection system.. The system will be mounted on a vehicle and capable of detecting even small methane leaks near oil well platforms, gas compressor stations and, eventually, municipal systems.

Initially, the equipment will be aimed at industrial uses but may also be marketed to local utilities. (Source: Bridger Photonics, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 17 Dec., 2014) Contact: Bridger Photonics, Pete Roos, Pres., (406) 585-2774,; U.S DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency,

Tags Methane news,  Bridger Photonics news,  

ARPA-E Energy Crop Dev. Funding Available (Funding)
Date: 2014-10-08
The US DOE reports that its T Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has opened a $30 million funding opportunity that aims to increase energy crop yields. The program, Transportation Energy Resources from Renewable Agriculture (TERRA) aims to accelerate biomass yields gains through automated, predictive and systems-level approaches to biofuel crop breeding.

The TERRA program seeks to develop technologies that can increase the precision, accuracy and throughput of energy crop breeding to enable predictive algorithms for plant growth, more detailed measurements of plant physiology and more sophisticated bioinformatics for gene discovery and trait association. Up to $30 million is being made available for the program to develop automated, predictive and systems-level approaches to enable the quick and easy identification of traits that can be leveraged to increase biomass yield through accelerated breeding cycles.

The funding opportunity is open to individuals, domestic entities, foreign entities, and consortium entities. APRA-E is expected to make between five and 10 awards under this funding opportunity. The period of performance for funding agreements cannot exceed 48 months. Applications are encouraged for ideas that require proof-of-concept research and development, and for those for which some proof-of-concept demonstration already exists.

ARPA-E is seeking multidisciplinary teams to leverage advancements in automation, sensor technologies, computational analytics and low-cost nucleotide sequencing. These teams would develop innovative phenotyping systems that enable new predictive algorithms for plant growth and more detailed measurements for plant physiology and more sophisticated bioinformatics pipelines for gene discovery and trait association.

ARPA-E's mission is to fund applied R&D for disruptive, breakthrough energy technologies that are too risky for the private sector, but create the foundation for entirely new industries if successful. The agency does not support technology development over extended periods of time and does not fund basic research but rather, supports the initial creation of technology. The deadline for concept papers is set for Nov. 17. ARPA-E has not yet set a deadline for full application packages. (Source: ARPA-E, 6 Oct., 2014) Contact: ARPA-E, Cheryl Martin, Acting Director,,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Energy Crop news,  Biofuel Feedstock news,  

ARPA-E Offers $30Mn to Cut Oil, Gas Sector Emissions (Funding)
Date: 2014-05-05
The US DOE is reporting the availability of $30 million in funding for technologies to measure methane emissions in the oil and natural gas industry in a bid to effectively reduce them.

Methane emissions in the US make up nearly 9 percent of all greenhouse gas emitted and is projected to rise to a level equivalent to more than 620 million tonnes of CO2 in 2030, unless significant action is taken, according to the DOE.

The DOE funding will be used to help develop "low-cost, highly sensitive systems" that detect and measure methane associated with the production and transportation of oil and gas as part of the MONITOR programme. If successful, the technologies would be able to "accurately and cost-effectively measure" methane emissions and provide a detection network to mitigate the release of the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) says that "developing a broad range of technology options to reduce energy emissions and consumption is critical for a secure, affordable and sustainable American energy future. (Source: ARPA-E, Energyville, 3 May, 2014) Contact: ARPA-E, Cheryl Martin, Acting Director,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Carbon Emissions news,  

Oakbio, OSU to Develop Butanol from CO2 (R&D, Funding)
Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation
Date: 2014-04-23
The Alberta, Canada-based Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) has granted $500,000 to Oakbio, a Sunnyvale, CA-based cleantech company, and The Ohio State University for their proposed Conversion of Industrial CO2 Emissions into Biofuels and Chemicals project. The grant is part of the CCEMC's Grand Challenge Innovative Carbon Uses program.

Oakbio will develop a system for converting carbon dioxide from Alberta industrial fluegas emissions into butanol and other biofuels using the system they developed for production of bioplastics.

Key underlying technology for this work was developed under a grant from the US DOE's Advanced Research Projects Administration Energy (ARPA-E), and performed at Ohio State University.

CCEMC focuses on stimulating transformative change by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help Alberta adapt to climate change. The CCEMC, which operates at arms-length from government, receives its funding through a grant from the Alberta Government's Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund. (Source: CCEMC, Oakbio, April 21, 2014) Contact: Oakbio, Brian Sefton, Pres., (408) 600-0869 X 804,; Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation,

Tags Carbon news,  Butanol news,  CO2 news,  Biofuel news,  Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation news,  

Chromatin Announces Sorghum Farnesene Breakthrough (Ind. Report)
Date: 2014-02-26
Chicago-bases Chromatin, Inc. reports that it has created sorghum plants containing elevated levels of the energy-rich compound farnesene. By creating farnesene within sorghum, it becomes possible to bypass microbial fermentation and directly harvest biofuels from the crop itself. Because high-yield, drought-tolerant sorghum can be grown virtually everywhere, Chromatin's innovation could lead to an expansion of on-farm biofuel production.

Chromatin's work was supported in part by the Department of Energy's ARPA-E program, Plants Engineered To Replace Oil (PETRO). Chromatin's product pipeline includes sorghum hybrids for traditional agriculture, as well as biomass and sugar-rich hybrids designed for renewable energy applications. (Source: Chromatin, 24 Feb., 2014) Contact: Chromatin, Inc. Lia Bosma, Associate Director, Investor and Corporate Relations, (312)292-5424,,

Tags Chromatin news,  Sorghum news,  Biofuels news,  

Coskata Wins Transportation Fuels-from-Methane Funding (Funding)
Date: 2013-09-23
Warrenville, Illinois-based alternative fuels and chemicals specialist Coskata Inc has been selected to negotiate an award under the ARPA-E Reducing Emissions Using Methanotrophic Organisms for Transportation Energy (REMOTE) Program. The award will advance Coskata's engineering of methanol fermentation into an anaerobic microorganism to enable a low-cost biological approach for liquid fuel production. The company's technology will enable the rapid microbial conversion of methanol-to-fuels and/or chemicals with high carbon and energy efficiency. Coskata's technology could also integrate with other technologies that ferment methane to methanol.

Coskata believes natural gas is an attractive feedstock for early commercial projects due to its abundant supply and low cost, and expects to achieve unsubsidized production costs that are significantly lower than competitive approaches to fuels and chemicals production. (Source: Coskata, HeraldonLine, 19 Sept., 2013) Contact: Coskata Inc. , William Roe, CEO, (630) 657-5800,; ARPA-E,

Tags Coskata news,  Methane news,  ARPA-E news,  

ARPA-E Grants Support EV Energy Storage Systems R&D (Funding)
University of Maryland
Date: 2013-08-28
Two research teams from the University of Maryland Energy Research Center in College Park were awarded grants from the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to develop transformational EV energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs. The two projects were among 22 selected nationwide that received a total of $36 million in R&D funding from ARPA-E's new program, Robust Affordable Next Generation Energy Storage Systems (RANGE).

ARPA-E's RANGE program seeks to re-envision the total EV battery system, rather than working to increase the energy density of individual battery cells. RANGE projects will also focus on multifunctional energy storage designs that use these robust storage systems to simultaneously serve other functions in a vehicle, further reducing an energy storage system's effective and overall EV weight. The first University of Maryland ARPA-E project -- Multiple-Electron Aqueous Battery -- was awarded $405,000. The second project -- Solid-State Lithium-Ion Battery with Ceramic Electrolyte led by University of Maryland Energy Research Director and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Eric Wachsman, was awarded $574,275. (Source: University of Maryland, A. James Clark School of Engineering,, 26 Aug., 2013) Contact: University of Maryland, A. James Clark School of Engineering, Eric Wachman, (301) 405-8193,,; ARPA-E,

Tags ARPA-E news,  EV Battery news,  Energy Storage news,  

ARPA-E's Super Efficient Battery to be Developed in Manhattan (Ind. Report)
ARPA-E,Urban Electric Power
Date: 2013-08-14
The City University of New York (CUNY), Energy Institute, developed a new highly efficient zinc-manganese rechargeable battery. The invention is funded by the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), and it will be manufactured in a new facility owned by the Urban Electric Power (UEP) company in the Manhattanville Factory District. Since its beginning, the project received quite a substantial amount of funds. To build the new factory, UEP was granted $2 million, partly received in state economic development resources and partly in tax credits. In addition to this, ARPA-E gave another $3 million to CUNY, to develop the battery technology, so it must really be a winner.

The main aim of the project was to develop a battery out of cheap, readily available and non-toxic elements. The makers bid on zinc and manganese, as these are commonly found in conventional batteries, they are recyclable and their cost is significantly low. Of course, to be able to use them in rechargeable devices, the team had to overcome limitations such as dendrites formation and drop in efficiency during charging and recharging. (Source: ARPA-E, Green Optomistic, Aug. 12, 2013) Contact: U.S. DOE ARPA-E,,; Urban Electric Power,, Tags ARPA-E news, Solar news, Renewable Energy news, Solar Funding news,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Battery news,  

ARPA-E announces $30Mn for Solar R&D (R&D, Funding)
Date: 2013-07-24
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that up to $30 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) will be made available to advance solar energy beyond current photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies.

The new DOE program entitled Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) seeks to develop two distinct technology options to deliver low-cost, high-efficiency solar energy on demand, specifically: new hybrid solar energy converters, and new hybrid energy storage systems.

ARPA-E was launched in 2009 to identify transformational, breakthrough technologies that show fundamental technical promise but are too early for private-sector investment. To date, ARPA-E has funded 285 projects, across 33 states, with $770 million in funding. (Source: DOE, ARPA-E, CIOL, 22 July, 2013) Contact: U.S. DOE ARPA-E,,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Solar news,  Renewable Energy news,  Solar Funding news,  

House Cuts Clean Energy Funding, Dragging Down Entire Community of American Innovators (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Environmental Defense Fund
Date: 2013-07-22
This commentary originally appeared on Scientific American's "Plugged In" blog. "In my last post, I discussed a House subcommittee's shortsighted vote to slash funding for the U.S. DOE's innovative Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E). I'm sorry to report that the rest of the House has now followed suit, passing a $30 billion energy spending bill that cuts a huge chunk out of clean energy programs. Not only does the bill contain the subcommittee's 81 percent cut to ARPA-E, it also guts energy efficiency programs and even rolls back progress in energy efficient lighting. The House's embargo on funding for clean energy doesn't just hurt our footing in the international race towards a new energy economy, it also drags down an entire community of American innovators working to achieve a sustainable future.

"We deserve more than political posturing and moves as antiquated as the incandescent bulb. Right now, a convergence of environmental, economic and technological forces is transforming the global energy landscape. Just last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that renewable energy sources would eclipse nuclear and gas generation by 2016, and provide a quarter of the world's energy supply by 2018. Renewable energy is unequivocally a major component of the energy landscape.

"With the global rise of renewables, clean energy has become an inextricable component of energy science and engineering. Programs in sustainability, renewable energy, smart grid, and energy efficiency have emerged at major universities all over the U.S. These programs popped up as fields like mechanical and electrical engineering identified climate change as a key challenge facing humanity. Engineers have always sought to apply scientific knowledge to overcome technical challenges and ensure human safety and progress. Now, more than ever, academic researchers are passionately seeking solutions to address global warming.

"As top engineers and scientists have acknowledged the need to address the threat of climate change, so too have aspiring young scientists and engineers. Sustainability has become part of innovative educational programs across the country. Today, it is rare to see a science classroom without a miniature solar panel or wind turbine on its shelves. Why? Because students of all ages are compelled by the chance to design the next device or system that will help us overcome the challenges resulting from climate change. Students' passion for clean energy helps them endure difficult subjects like math and science, making the U.S. more competitive internationally. We owe it to these students to keep up the pace of clean energy education and research. Government funding agencies like ARPA-E and the DOE have a direct influence on science and engineering departments all over the country.

"Cutting these agencies has a ripple effect that hurts students, professors and other educators across the nation. Whether our elected leaders like it or not, researchers and academics will continue to explore the potential of the new energy frontier. The question is, will the government promote their efforts, or squander the momentum thousands of talented Americans have built up over many years of dedicated work?" (Source: EDF, July 17, 2013) Contact: Environmental Defense Fund, (800) 684-3322,

Tags Clean Energy news,  Environmental Defense Fund news,  

Google takes a Flyer on Makani's Tethered Wind Wing (M&A)
Google,Makani Power
Date: 2013-05-24
Google reports it has acquired Alameda, California-based Makani Power, a company that builds airborne wind turbines. Makani Power's proposition is that a "tethered flying autonomous wing" with on-board turbines can generate electrical power. Makani's wing design matches both the motion and speed of a conventional wind turbine, except it flies up to 1,000 feet in the air. Makani Power's technology is designed to harness high-altitude winds to produce energy that's significantly cheaper than the least expensive coal plants without subsidies. Its Airborne Wind Turbine produces twice the energy as a conventional turbine, by literally flying in the air like a kite on a small airplane. The wing flies across the wind in vertical circles, fixed to the ground by a flexible tether. It actually follows the same path as a conventional wind turbine's blades, but this larger path greatly enhances effectiveness.

The firm said it could not have developed this technology without the support of ARPA-E, a US government initiative that backs alternative energy development, and it has had a supportive relationship with Google. (Source: Google, The Inquirer, 23 May, 2013) Contact: Makani Power, Dante Siracusa, Business Manager, (510) 629-4316,,

Tags Makani Power news,  Wind news,  

PARC Launches ARPA-E Funded Printed Li-Ion Battery Battery Project (Ind. Report)
Date: 2013-04-29
Palo Alto, California-based PARC, a Xerox company, has launched a project with the U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the 2012 Open Funding Opportunity. The Printed Integral Battery Project will leverage a PARC invented co-extrusion (CoEx) technology to demonstrate a lithium-ion battery manufacturing process that deposits the entire functional battery in a single pass. This innovative approach can dramatically reduce cost while simultaneously improving battery performance, helping make high performance and affordable EVs a reality.

The Printed Integral Battery Project is part of a portfolio of research within the PARC Energy Technology Program aimed at developing practical solutions to make clean and abundant energy available across a wide range of applications. This includes a focus on improving energy storage for EVs, consumer electronics, and electric grid support through better ways to make, monitor, and manage batteries.

The conventional lithium-ion battery manufacturing process requires that the two halves of a battery be made in two separate steps, and then combined together in a third step -- each step adding cost that contributes to the high price of the final product. PARC's Printed Integral Battery deposits the entire battery cell-cathode, separator, anode in one single pass. PARC's CoEx technology allows multiple materials to be deposited simultaneously while still maintaining fine features in the finished product.

Implementing CoEx for solar, PARC has partnered with a solar company for mass manufacturing of silicon solar cell gridlines, and is currently seeking partnerships with battery manufacturers to use CoEx as a drop-in replacement for conventional electrode deposition equipment that can improve the performance of current battery chemistries by as much as 30 percent. (Source: PARC, PR, Wall Street Journal, 29 April, 2013) Contact: ARPA-E,; PARC, (650) 692-3375,

Tags Lithium-Ion Battery news,  

New Solar Vortex being Funded by ARPA-E (New Prod & Tech)
Georgia Tech,Solar Vortex,ARPA-E
Date: 2013-03-01
The Solar Vortex, which is being researched by a consortium led by Georgia Tech, hopes to imitate the process that creates small tornadoes (twisters) in order to drive a turbine. A Solar Vortex twister is created due to the temperature difference between the hot ground, and the cooler air above. The ground heats low level air, which then rises and begins to twist as the cool air above falls around the outside of the twisting column of hot air.

The Solar Vortex consortium has created a short cylinder which sits on a dark surface which can absorb and emit heat. The air is warmed and caused to twist into a vortex by the angled walls. A fan attached to a generator mounted at the top of the cylinder is turned by the rotating column creating electricity.

Arne Pearlstein, a professor of mechanical engineering and part of the Solar Vortex team, estimates that the device will produce electricity for 20 percent cheaper than wind turbines, and 65 percent cheaper than solar PV panels, due primarily to low maintenance costs. (Source: Solar Vortex,, Feb. 27, 2013) Contact: ARPA-E,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Solar news,  

Dais Analytic Wins $800,000 Energy Efficiency Grant (Funding)
Dais Analytic
Date: 2013-01-28
Tampa-based nanotechnology materials specialist Dais Analytic Corporation has secured a second DOE-ARPA-E grant for $800,000 to continue its move to the market a high efficiency dehumidification cycle which has valuable HVAC and refrigeration applications. The company was selected from a wide field of nationwide applicants to receive further funding for its technology aimed at saving energy and reducing energy costs in the military and civilian sectors.

Targeted specifically in this grant is Dais's on-going development of an energy-efficient, compact dehumidification system that uses a nano-composite membrane developed by Dais to allow moisture -- but not air -- to pass through it. This process is engineered to efficiently remove water vapor from the humid air, and is projected to enable high-volume, low-cost mass production of the dehumidification system. It is estimated that this system will use 20 to 50 percent less fuel than existing cooling systems at Forward Operating Bases located in hot, humid environments. Even greater fuel savings could be achieved in hot, dry conditions. (Source: Dais Analytics ,Jan 25, 2012) Contact: Tim Tangredi, President, Dais Analytic Corporation, (727) 375-8484x205,,

Tags Dais Analytic news,  Nanotechnology news,  Energy Efficiency news,  

NREL, LanzaTech to help convert Methane to Diesel (Ind. Report)
Date: 2013-01-07
The U.S. DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will help develop microbes that convert methane found in natural gas into liquid diesel fuel. If successful, the novel approach could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower dependence on foreign oil.

The amount of natural gas flared or vented from oil wells globally is equal to one-third of the amount of petroleum used in the U.S. each year. And every molecule of methane vented to the atmosphere in that process has the global-warming capacity of 12 molecules of carbon dioxide. A consortium of scientists says that if the wasted gas can be turned into a liquid, then it can be piped along with the petroleum to refineries where it can be turned into diesel fuel.

The consortium's proposal to develop a microbe that eats methane won a $4.8 million Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) award from DOE. NREL's award was announced as one of 66 OPEN 2012 projects, which focus on a wide array of technologies, including advanced fuels.

The University of Washington is taking the lead and focusing on genetically modifying the microbes. NREL will be in charge of fermentation to demonstrate the productivity of the microbes, both the natural organism and the genetically-altered varieties. NREL will also extract the lipids from the organisms and analyze the economic potential of the plan.

A third partner, UK-headquartered Johnson-Matthey will produce the catalysts that turn the lipids in the methane into fuel. Lanza Tech, a pioneer in waste-to-fuels technology, has signed on to commercialize the bench-scale plan if it is successful. The end product would be a fuel intermediate that then could be piped to a refinery for final processing into diesel or jet fuel.(Source: NREL, Environmental Expert, Jan. 3, 2013) Contact: LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,; NREL,

Tags LanzaTech news,  NREL news,  Methane news,  Diesel news,  


Date: 2012-12-28
A year of lithium-sulfur activity • In October 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $5 million to a consortium headed by Penn State and Johnson Controls, for LSB research. • In January 2012, long-term (17-year) lithium-sulfur stalwart Sion Power announced a $50 million equity investment from BASF. • In March 2012, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) researcher Dr. Johanna Nelson published a breakthrough study on polysulfide loss. A powerful x-ray system was able to image the battery during cycling, radically modifying previous hypotheses. (For a readable account, see here.) The study bears, among other names, that of Dr. Yi Cui, a respected battery theorist. • Also in March 2012, a LMU Munich/University of Waterloo team published results of an LSB study using a mesoporous carbon cathode. Performance was dramatically enhanced on several parameters, leading to a nominal 1200 watt-hours per kilogram, as well as further improvement in problem areas. • In September 2012 at the Cascadia Beyond Oil conference in Seattle, recently retired General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz predicted that electric vehicles will be switching to lithium-sulfur batteries within five years. He has been stating for some time that lithium-sulfur or possibly metal-air chemistry is what will bring electric vehicles to the mainstream. • In November 2012, the second largest of 66 grants (and the largest in energy storage) awarded in the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (Arpa-E) “Open 2012” grant round was $4.5 million for a water-based LSB. The grant was awarded to PolyPlus in partnership with Johnson Controls. PolyPlus had until recently been receiving more attention for its lithium-air work than for its lithium-sulfur research.

Univ. of Houston Superconductivity Project Scores Additional Funding (R&D, Funding)
University of Houston
Date: 2012-12-10
University of Houston engineering researcher Venkat Selvamanickam and his team have received $900,000 in additional funding from the U.S. DOE for a wind energy project that involves using superconducting wire to generate and transport electricity. The project also received an accelerated $1 million grant extension along with the increase from the DOE's Advanced Research Project-Energy (ARPA-E). Total funding awarded to the project is nearly $4 million. Research collaborators include SuperPower Inc., the NREL, Tai-Yang Research and TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company.

Superconducting materials carry electricity without any electrical resistance, resulting in no energy lost during transport. However, wind turbines generate magnetic fields, which results in magnetic flux lines -- essentially the pull of magnetism -- running through and moving within superconducting wires. These flux lines interfere with the wires' ability to transport electricity, lowering its performance. The ultimate goal for the three-year project is to improve the performance of superconducting wire used in wind turbines by 400 percent. (Source: University of Houston, PR, 7 Dec., 2012) Contact: Univ. of Houston, Venkat Selvamickam, (713) 743-4044,,

Tags Wind Turbine news,  

Cornell Scores $900K for Algae Bioreactor Development (Funding)
Cornell University
Date: 2012-11-30
The US DOE has awarded $910,000 to Cornell University research team to advance the production of biofuels from algae. David Erickson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Largus Angenent, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, have teamed up to design and build a new type of bioreactor that delivers light and collects fuel produced by algae inside the reactors. Their "optofluidic reactor" is one of 66 projects totaling $130 million selected this year for the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy (ARPA-E) program, announced Nov. 28.

The team hopes to harness the natural process of photosynthesis -- nature's model of sustainable energy generation -- by directly converting carbon dioxide to biofuels using blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). The prototype reactor will deliver light to algae growing on low-cost, light-guiding sheets and then collect fuel through tiny porous tubes. Unlike conventional algae ponds, this reactor will distribute a nearly ideal amount of sunlight and use minimal water. Current technologies are limited by conventional reactor design, including poor distribution of light in the reactor, low organism concentrations and large amounts of water and energy consumptions. The work was originally conceived with support from a 2010 seed grant from Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. (Source: Cornell University, Nanowerk, 29 Nov., 2012) Contact: Cornell, David Erickson, (607) 255-4861,,; ARPA-E,

Tags Algae news,  Biofuel news,  Bioreactor news,  ARPA-E news,  

DNV Research and Innovation’s project for exploring the outer limits of battery operations receives US Department of Energy’s attention.

Date: 2012-10-02
Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is pleased to announce that its project for exploring the outer limits of battery operations has been selected by the US Department of Energy to receive funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (ARPA-E). “DNV is proud to have our project selected by the US Department of Energy. We are excited to participate in the development of breakthrough energy storage technologies and to join the innovation journey towards new ways of storing and using energy”, says Davion Hill, Senior Engineer and Project Manager for the battery initiative in the DNV Research and Innovation Materials Program. In cooperation with partners NexTech Materials and Beckett Energy Systems, the DNV led project will use battery life prediction modeling and sensor monitoring to identify where the limits of battery operation can be pushed. By implementing the modeling and sensor approach, together with an innovative new sensing technique, the project aims to extract greater performance from batteries. The project is innovative because it uses a novel and new off gas sensing technique, which improves safety, while also deploying life prediction models for commercial application. This detection method can optimize performance and help repurpose batteries for other applications. A second outcome of the project will involve the demonstration of second life batteries in an energy storage application. To date, there has been much discussion about a second life of batteries. Little data is available, however, about successful use of second hand batteries in commercial applications. The innovative solution of the DNV led project will enable this demonstration to take place. Testing activities will occur at the DNV KEMA Powertest facility in Chalfont, PA, the largest independent high-power electrical testing laboratory in the United States. The acquisition of a majority stake in KEMA by DNV in early 2012 played a crucial role in this project. “DNV KEMA-Powertest is optimized to develop and customize tests”, Paul Leufkens, General Manager of DNV KEMA Powertest states. “The merger with DNV has enabled two expertise organizations to join forces, and we are now even better positioned to fulfill the needs of the industry”. Date: 2012-09-28

LG Chem, PARC Sign $4m DOE Battery Performance Contract (Ind. Report)
Date: 2012-09-28
LG Chem Power and Palo Alto, California-based PARC, a Xerox subsidiary, has signed a $4m contract with the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the programme for Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED). The two companies, along with project partner (LGCPI), a subsidiary of LG Chem, will develop a fibre optic monitoring system capable of providing detailed information about the internal condition of batteries to allow them to perform better in EV and other applications.

ARPA-E will fund the development and demonstration of a complete battery sensor prototype, including new fibre optic sensing elements, a design to cost-effectively integrate hair-thin optical fibres into battery cells and packs, a compact optical read-out unit to measure the signals, and the intelligent algorithms that can make sense of the measurements to effectively control the battery. (Source: LG Chem, DOE ARPA-E, Sept. 26, 2012) Contact: Terry Lee, Public Relations, LG Chem, +82 (2) 3773-6951,,; PARC,

Tags LG Chem news,  Energy Storage news,  Energy Management news,  

LG Chem , PARC Seal $4Mn Battery Performance Deal (Ind. Report)
Date: 2012-09-20
PARC, a Xerox company, has signed a $4 million contract with the U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the program for Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED). Under the terms of the contract, PARC, along with project partner LG Chem Power Inc. (LGCPI), a subsidiary of LG Chem, will develop a fiber optic monitoring system capable of providing detailed information about the internal condition of batteries. The end goal is to allow batteries to perform better in applications such as electric vehicles (EVs).

The system to be developed will use PARC's compact wavelength-shift detection technology and machine learning/sensor network expertise -- part of PARC's optics and optoelectronics and intelligent automation work -- to enable effective real-time performance management and optimized battery design. Capabilities will range from inferring state and health information to predicting remaining life, and the resulting commercial EV-grade battery module with embedded optical sensors and readout unit will undergo industry-standard validation at LGCPI's facilities.

LGCPI, considered by many to be the leading U.S. manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for EVs, will work with PARC to develop the system and conduct testing to validate that it is robust and cost effective for the commercial market. (Source: PARC, Hybrid Cars, Sept. 20, 2012) Contact: Terry Lee, LG Chem, Ltd. +82 (2) 3773-6951,,; Contact: ARPA-E,

Tags ARPA-E news,  Energy Storage news,  LG Chem Power news,  

Eaton Developing Predictive Battery Mgmt. Technology (Ind. Report)
Eaton Corp,NREL
Date: 2012-08-28
Southfield, Mich.-based Eaton Corporation is strengthening its commitment to hybrid vehicle technology by developing a cost-effective power control system to reduce the size of the system battery without a loss of battery life or vehicle performance. The fuel-efficient application is intended to optimize the operation of hybrid electric vehicles, from passenger cars to commercial vehicles.

The $2.8 million project is being jointly funded between Eaton and a grant from the DOE Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E). The goal is to reduce the size of the battery by 50 percent and improve the total performance of the system and its charge rate while maintaining fuel economy and overall vehicle performance.

The project will be led by Eaton's Innovation Center team in Southfield, Mich., who will work with a team from the NREL. Eaton sees opportunities to extend this technology into other areas where hybrid power management requires extended battery life, including community infrastructure, data centers, manufacturing and industrial.

This is the second ARPA-E grant that Eaton has received within the past month. The other project was a $3.4 million grant to develop affordable home refueling stations for natural gas vehicles. Eaton also has received DOE grants in the past 12 months for the development of technologies for compressed natural gas, research on waste heat recovery for commercial vehicles, and fuel cell expander research. (Source: Eaton Corp., Aug. 27, 20120 Contact: Eaton Corp.,

Tags Eaton Corp news,  Power Management news,  Battery Technologies news,  ARPA-E news,  

Mitt's VP Pick Would Slash Renewable Energy Funding (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
Center for American Progress
Date: 2012-08-16
The following was submitted by the Center for American Progress:

"(Mitt Romney's) Republican VP pick Paul Ryan's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal would have removed tax incentives for wind and solar development, while retaining $40 billion in tax breaks to oil and gas companies over the next decade. Such an approach is consistent with Ryan's support from oil tycoons David and Charles Koch, as well as his denial of Global Warming.

"Ryan has voted to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting greenhouse pollution, to eliminate White House climate advisers, to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from preparing for climate disasters like the drought that devastated his home state, and to eliminate the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E).

"As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan has produced a series of proposed budgets dubbed The Path to Prosperity that make sharp changes to U.S. taxation and spending policy. Core to Ryan's budgets are the reduction of income taxes for upper-income earners as well as corporate, investment and capital gains taxes, all of which would benefit the wealthiest Americans.

"In order to partially compensate for the budget shortfall this would create, Ryan proposes imposing a consumption tax, increasing tax rates for lower- and middle-income earners and removing some tax loopholes, as well as slashing a variety of federal programs and privatizing others.

"Within this larger strategy is a hostility to programs that would enable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as federal energy research and development (R&D), which Ryan states should be left to the private market.

"All in all, Ryan's proposed 2013 budget would cut U.S. federal energy programs by $3 billion in fiscal year 2013 alone, reducing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) budget to 20% of 2012 levels over the next five years. This would include cuts to R&D programs.

"Ryan's plan stands in sharp contrast to the budget proposal by incumbent President Barack Obama (D), which includes an extension of the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program, as well as increased funding for a variety of clean energy programs, including the DOE's SunShot program and federal energy R&D programs. In Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Mitt Romney has chosen a Vice-Presidential candidate who has proposed gutting federal renewable energy funding, maintaining oil and gas subsidies, and blocking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases." (Source: Center for American Progress, Aug. 14, 2012) Contact: Center for American Progress,

Editor's Note: This publication neither rejects nor endorses the views of Congressman Ryan and/or the Center for American Progress.

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ITN Energy Systems Wins $1.7Mn for Advanced Redox Flow Battery Development (R&D, Funding)
ITN Energy Systems
Date: 2012-08-08
Littleton, Colorado-based ITN Energy Systems, Inc. (ITN) has been awarded $1.725 million in funding from the US DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop an Advanced Redox Flow Battery, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky (UKy).

This new battery technology will dramatically lower costs for grid-scale power systems, and provide affordable energy storage options for small commercial and residential customers. The flow battery model is an excellent fit for solar and wind power plants, because the battery capacity can be increased by adding additional electrolyte. ITN's innovation integrates a unique low-cost membrane with new flow battery electrolyte chemistry to significantly increase efficiency and affordability. ITN was one of just 7 small businesses selected for this ARPA-E funding. (Source: ITN Energy Systems, Aug. 6, 2012) Contact: Dr. Brian Berland, Manager, Thin Film Electronics, ITN Energy Systems, Inc (ITNES), (303) 285-5107,,; ARPA-E, Arun Majumdar, Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, (202) 287-1057,

Tags ITN Energy Systems news,  Redox Battery news,  Battery Technologies news,  ARPA-E news,  

Utah Battery Innovators Win $4.73Mn in ARPA-E Grants (Funding)
Utah State University,Materials & Systems Research
Date: 2012-08-07
On Thursday, the DOE announced nearly $5 million in grants to Utah researchers to support the development of next-generation battery technologies. The round of funding came as part of $43 million released by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E.

Utah State University will receive $3 million to develop advanced battery management systems that will optimize the performance of each cell in a battery pack. The goal is reduce the cost of vehicle batteries by 25 percent.

Salt Lake City-based Materials & Systems Research, Inc. (MSRI) will receive $1.73 million to improve sodium battery membranes. The aim is to make the membranes stronger, safer, longer-lasting and less costly to produce. (Source: Utah State Univ, PR, Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 6, 2012)

Tags Battery Technologies news,  Battery Management news,  Materials & Systems Research news,  

ORNL Receives ARPA-E Energy Storage Project Funding (Funding)
Oak Ridge National Lab
Date: 2012-08-03
Nineteen transformative new projects, including Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), will receive a total of $43 million in funding from the DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to leverage the nation's brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses. These projects are supported through two new ARPA-E programs -- Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) -- and will focus on innovations in battery management and storage to help improve electric grid efficiency and reliability and provide important energy security benefits to America's armed forces. Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. will receive $1 million under the AMPED program.

Twelve research projects are receiving $30 million in funding under the AMPED program, which aims to develop advanced sensing and control technologies that could dramatically improve and provide new innovations in safety, performance, and lifetime for grid-scale and vehicle batteries. Unlike other DOE efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. These innovations will help reduce costs and improve the performance of next generation storage technologies.

ORNL is developing an innovative battery design to more effectively regulate destructive hot-spots that develop during use. This improvement in transporting heat away from active materials in the battery is expected to increase battery life life and reduce the system cost associated with thermal management. ARPA-E was launched in 2009 to seek out transformational, breakthrough technologies that are too risky for private-sector investment but have the potential to translate science into quantum leaps in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries, and have large commercial impacts. More information on the program is available at (Source: ARPA-E, Chattanoogan, Aug. 2, 2012) Contact: ORNL,

Tags Oak Ridge National Laboratory news,  ARPA-E news,  

USC R&D Breaking Low-Cost Battery, Energy Storage Barriers (New Prod. & Tech.)
University of Southern California
Date: 2012-08-02
A team of University of California (USC) researchers led by Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has developed a cheap, rechargeable and eco-friendly battery suitable for renewable energy storage. The team developed a patent-pending air-breathing battery that uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air -- a process similar to rusting. As currently developed, the batteries have a storage capacity of between eight and 24 hours' worth of energy. Both the federal government and California utilities have expressed interest in the project.

Iron-air batteries have been around for decades -- they saw a surge in interest during the 1970s energy crisis, but suffered from a crippling problem: a competing chemical reaction of hydrogen generation that takes place inside the battery (known as hydrolysis) sucked away about 50 percent of the battery's energy, making it too inefficient to be useful.

Narayan's team managed to reduce the energy loss down to 4 percent by adding a very small amount of bismuth sulfide into the battery. Bismuth (which happens to be part of the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol and helps give the pink remedy its name) shuts down the wasteful hydrogen generation.

Narayan's team included fellow USC researchers G. K. Surya Prakash, Aswin Manohar, Souradip Malkhandi, Bo Yang, Robert Aniszfeld, Chenguang Yang, Phong Trinh; and Andrew Kindler of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The team is working to make the battery store more energy with less material. Funding for this research came from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E), an arm of the U. S. DOE. (Source: USC, Aug. 1, 2012) Contact: USC, Robert Perkins, (213) 740-9226,,

Tags Battery Technology news,  

Codexis Demos Enzyme-Based Carbon Capture at National Carbon Capture Center (Ind. Report)
Date: 2012-07-10
Redwood City, California-based Codexis, Inc.reports the results from the pilot-scale demonstration of the company's carbon capture technology conducted at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Alabama. Codexis developed this patented technology under a license granted by CO2 Solutions, Inc. The field test, on flue gas emitted from a Southern Company's power plant, shows that enzymes have promise to facilitate CO2 capture at coal-fired power plants. This is the largest scale that enzyme-based carbon capture technology has been demonstrated to date, with the equivalent daily capture rate of 1,800 average sized trees per day.

In May 2010, Codexis received $4.7 million from the U.S. DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) to develop an active enzyme called carbonic anhydrase , which catalyzes the transfer of carbon dioxide in nature and is designed to remove dangerous emissions from coal-fired power plants.

With ARPA-E's funding, Codexis saw the largest improvement in an enzyme the company has ever seen: a 2-million-fold improvement in thermal stability at temperatures between 140 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, preliminary analysis indicates the enzyme-based carbon capture technology can substantially reduce parasitic energy loss compared to the current state-of-the-art MEA technology. . (Source: Codexis, Inc., PR, 9 July, 2012) Contact: James Lalonde, VP of Biochemistry and Engineering R&D, Codexis, (650) 421-8100,

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Chromatin, Ohio State Partner to Develop Plant-based Sesquiterpene Biofuels (Funding)
Chromatin,Ohio State University
Date: 2012-06-18
Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) will play a key role in the engineering of a novel plant-based fuel funded by a $5.7 million grant from the U.S. DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the Plants Engineered to Replace Oil (PETRO) program. The grant includes a $1.2 subcontract to OARDC. Leading the three-year project is Chromatin Inc., a Chicago-based developer of energy-crop feedstocks. Other partners include San Diego-based Allylix and Kansas State University. The project, titled "Plant-based Sesquiterpene Biofuels," involves the production of a hydrocarbon from two drought-tolerant plants: guayule, a woody shrub native to the southeastern U.S. and Mexico, and sweet sorghum. This hydrocarbon can be easily extracted and cheaply converted into a renewable transportation fuel.

OARDC's role in the project involves the engineering of these two crops at the genetic level so they can boost the production of farnesene, a natural plant oil that can be converted into a diesel-like fuel. Farnesene is one of many sesquiterpenes, compounds that are associated with essential oils and resins in plants. The project's goal is to have guayule and sweet sorghum engineered to produce an estimated 20 percent of the plant's dry weight as farnesene, which is then extracted and hydrogenated to farnesane fuel. Estimates indicate farnesane fuel could cost less than $50 per barrel of petroleum equivalent. (Source: Ohio State University, 17 June, 2012) Contact: ARPA-E,,; Chromatin, David Jessen, CEO, (312) 235-3610,

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