M. Orr Jr., director of the Stanford University Global
Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), announced that
five new research grants totaling more than $11 million
have been awarded to Stanford faculty and collaborating
researchers at other institutions in the United States
and overseas. The new programs will focus on solar
energy, advanced combustion, and carbon capture and
separation. Investigators will use the funding to
conduct fundamental research in energy technologies
aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions
on a global scale.
"The granting of these awards broadens the scope
of GCEP research and provides us with additional
research in renewable energy technologies," said
Orr, the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum
Engineering at Stanford. "It also expands the global
nature of GCEP to include institutions in Australia
and Japan in addition to the institutions working
with us from the U.S. and Europe."
Funded over a three-year period beginning in fall
2005, the grants will bring the total number of research
efforts supported by GCEP to 28, with total funding
of approximately $37.5 million.
Stanford faculty will lead three of the new studies,
and investigators at the University of New South
Wales in Australia and the Research Institute of
Innovative Technology for the Earth in Japan will
lead two. Discussions between Stanford and the other
institutions are under way to establish subcontracts
that are required before the funds can be used.
Three studies will investigate novel approaches
to the design and fabrication of solar cells, with
the goal of developing efficient and low-cost options
for converting solar energy to electricity:
"Inorganic Nanocomposite Solar Cells by Atomic Layer
Deposition," led by Stanford researchers Stacey Bent,
Department of Chemical Engineering; James Harris,
Department of Electrical Engineering; and Michael
McGehee, Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
"Nanostructured Metal-Organic Composite Solar Cells," led
by Stanford researchers Mark Brongersma, Department
of Materials Science and Engineering; and Peter Peumans
and Shanhui Fan, Department of Electrical Engineering.
"Nanostructured Silicon-Based Tandem Solar Cells," led
by University of New South Wales researchers Martin
Green, Centre of Excellence for Advanced Silicon
Photovoltaics and Photonics, and Gavin Conibeer,
Centre for Photovoltaic Engineering.
"This award from GCEP offers my colleagues and me
a unique opportunity to pursue a bold approach for
making inexpensive but efficient solar cells," said
Bent, an associate professor of chemical engineering
at Stanford. "We look forward to working together
to address a problem of such global significance."
Green: "This award allows us to explore a
very original approach to solar energy conversion
that uses abundant materials and little energy, but
promises high performance and low costs. Our work
so far suggests we have a good chance of making a
breakthrough in this area."
Another research effort will seek to improve understanding
of new fuel formulations that may lead to acceptable
transportation options with reduced carbon dioxide
"Optimization of the Molecular Structure of Low-Greenhouse-Gas
Emission Synthetic Oxygenated Fuels for Improved
Combustion and Pollutant Emission Characteristics
of Diesel Fuels," led by Craig T. Bowman, David Golden,
Ronald Hanson, and Heinz Pitsch of Stanford's Department
of Mechanical Engineering. SRI International in Menlo
Park, Calif., also will participate.
One program seeks to use unique materials and design
techniques to develop novel membranes for use in
the key processes of carbon dioxide capture and separation:
"Sub-Nano Structure Controlled Materials—Development
of Innovative Gas Separation Membranes," led by Koichi
Yamada, Shingo Kazama and Katsunori Yogo, Research
Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth.
"These new awards are definitely in line with GCEP's
mandate of supporting step-out research that will
have a long-term global impact on reducing greenhouse
gas emissions," commented Philippe Lacour-Gayet of
Schlumberger, chair of the GCEP Management Committee. "The
research is high risk, but there is also a high potential
for breakthroughs and the end results could be far-reaching."
at Stanford in December 2002, GCEP is a collaborative
effort of the scientific and engineering communities
at academic research institutions and industry.
Its purpose is to conduct fundamental, pre-commercial
research that will foster the development of a
global energy system with significantly reduced
greenhouse gas emissions. The GCEP sponsors—ExxonMobil,
GE, Schlumberger and Toyota—intend to invest $225
million in GCEP to seek new solutions to the world's
energy future through a portfolio of technical areas.
The GCEP sponsors plan to fund additional programs
at Stanford and other universities and institutions
around the world. GCEP is conducting assessments
of advanced coal and advanced transportation technologies
to identify technical barriers and opportunities
for research that could lead to significant advances
in those areas.
The project also is conducting two workshops:
International Workshop, "Exploring the Opportunities
for Research to Integrate Advanced Coal Technologies
with CO2 Capture and Storage in China," in Beijing,
China, on Aug. 22-23.
GCEP Advanced Transportation Workshop at the Frances
C. Arrillaga Alumni Center at Stanford on Oct. 10-11.
For more details visit: http://gcep.stanford.edu
Maxine Lym is communications manager for the
Global Climate and Energy Project.