• Professor Donald Sadoway, recipient of one of the ARPA-E awards, explains his work on liquid metal batteries, a technology that could make possible grid-scale energy storage.

    Photo courtesy of Donald Sadoway, MIT

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MIT: An engine of energy innovation

DOE makes awards for transformative energy technologies

Question: What do liquid-metal batteries, water-splitting catalysts, wafers from molten silicon, nanotube-enhanced ultracapacitors, and plant cell wall-degrading enzymes have in common?

Answer: These novel clean energy technologies were recently deemed to be to be potentially “transformative” by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The technologies are the focus of research awards by DOE’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). These awards — which support key links in the energy value chain — highlight the critical role MIT plays as an engine of energy innovation.

The selected projects were for one MIT research lab and four startups with strong links to MIT. The successful proposals were submitted by MIT Professor Donald Sadoway, Sun Catalytix, 1366 Technologies, FastCAP Systems, and Agrivida and will receive combined funding of $24.8 million from the new program’s inaugural round of funding. A sixth company, FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp., was an earlier recipient of an MIT prize for energy entrepreneurs.

To read more on these projects, visit the MIT Energy Initiative's site at http://web.mit.edu/mitei/news/spotlights/engine-innovation.html

Topics: Batteries, Energy, Faculty, MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI)

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