The U.S. Department of Energy will pump $151 million into 37 innovative energy-related research projects through a new federal agency modeled after the Defense Department program that helped commercialize microchips and the Internet.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or Arpa-e, created in 2007 to support innovative and often-experimental projects, selected the first round of grant recipients from 3,600 proposals.
While many of the ideas may never lead to practical breakthroughs, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said some could have a “transformative impact.”
Among the first grant recipients are University of Minnesota researchers attempting to develop an organism that uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide to sugars and diesel fuel; a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team developing an all-liquid metal battery that could better manage the output from intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar; and a United Technologies effort to capture carbon emissions from power plant stacks using enzymes.
The agency — which will target research projects by small business, universities, and corporations — will be led by Arun Majumdar, a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360