January 11, 2010

State Funds Energy Research by Northeast Ohio Businesses and
Case Western Reserve

With State of Ohio funding, researchers at Case Western Reserve University will help businesses in Northeast Ohio build and bring to market better lithium ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cell systems.

In late December, Governor Ted Strickland and other officials approved a total of $19.2 million in Ohio Third Frontier grants for 19 projects.

Case Western Reserve scientists, who are members of the Great Lakes Energy Institute based at the university, are involved in two projects.

Daniel A. Scherson, the Charles F. Mabery Professor of Research in chemistry at Case Western Reserve, will work with Novolyte Technologies, Inc., located in Independence, to develop new electrolytes that reduce or eliminate the flammability of lithium-ion batteries and improve the power output, enabling larger batteries that can be used in motor vehicles. Lithium-ion batteries, which are powerful and light compared to traditional batteries, are currently used in cell phones and laptop computers.

The project was granted $1.12 million from the state. Scherson, whose lab will receive about half the funding, and Martin Payne, Novolyte's global technology manager, are developing tools to rapidly evaluate which combinations of chemicals perform best and safest, test the mixes and get the new technologies to battery-makers.

Professors Arthur Heuer and Mark DeGuire in the Case School of Engineering are working with Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems, located in North Canton, to determine the long-term reliability of a 1 MW solid oxide fuel cell system connected to the grid for distributed power generation applications. The project was awarded $999,770.

Heuer, DeGuire, and Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems' engineers will analyze the structural, mechanical, and electrochemical characteristics of the complex ceramic system, as well as the manufacturing process for the system. Their work will advance the robustness of solid oxide fuel cells. The researchers will develop a model to predict system reliability, enabling Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems to move the system to market.

For more information contact Kevin Mayhood, 216.368.4442.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, January 11, 2010 01:09 PM | News Topics: Case School of Engineering, Collaborations/Partnerships, College of Arts and Sciences, Energy, Faculty, Provost Initiatives, Research

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