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Posted: August 11, 2009
Emerging energy technology: lean, mean and green
(Nanowerk News) A highly efficient system for generating and distributing energy is lean, mean and green – and could be as close as the nearest farm, according to a University of Connecticut professor.
“This solution is truly homegrown, and its successful application can be critical for the U.S. and the world,” said Dr. Prabhakar Singh, Director, Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center and UTC Endowed Chair Professor in Fuel Cell Technology.
Dr. Singh is the organizer of an ASM International-produced symposium on Emerging Energy Technology at the Materials Science & Technology Conference & Exposition (MS&T 2009) this October. While building on the high interest in fuel cells at previous MS&T events -- where related sessions have attracted the highest number of papers and attendance over the past several years – the 2009 program will focus on clean energy efficiency “to achieve low or negligible pollution and greatly reduced carbon emissions that approach zero,” Dr. Singh said.
One success story is from Dr. Singh’s backyard. “At the University of Connecticut, we have started a green campus initiative that features fuel cells that work on bio-derived fuel,” he said. “Like many universities, we have large schools of agriculture, engineering, and business. We have integrated all of these stakeholders into a technology system that produces carbon neutral biofuel that can be used in a fuel cell in the most efficient way possible.”
Electricity goes to a micro “smart” grid for energy storage
Heat is used for buildings and dairy farms
Carbon dioxide goes to the greenhouses that support our agricultural activities.
“The net result is that we are using an indigenous fuel resource with zero emission,” Dr. Singh said. “And there is no reason why this microsystem cannot be replicated on other campuses and farms across the country and around the world, from Connecticut to Africa and Asia.”
According to Dr. Singh, materials scientists and engineers have the ability to champion new ways to generate energy, minimize environmental impact, and improve standards of living. “We must step up to show the way to a more secure, prosperous and greener future,” he said.
Materials Science & Technology, a leading forum addressing structure, properties, processing and performance across the materials community, will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Oct. 24-29. In addition to programming on Emerging Energy Technology, MS&T covers ceramic and glass materials, electronic and magnetic materials, fundamentals and characterization, materials and systems, nanotechnology, processing and product manufacturing, and iron and steel.
This partnership of four leading materials societies brings together scientists, engineers, students, suppliers and others to discuss current research and applications, and shape the future of materials science and technology. MS&T is organized by ASM International (the materials information society), American Ceramic Society (ACerS), Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST), and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).