Missouri S&T selected for $1 million grant

The grant will fund research in clean energy technologies.
Katie Prince / Graphic Designer

Missouri University of Science and Technology was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday to receive a $999,997 grant for research to change the way the country uses and produces energy.

The Department of Energy awarded three universities — Missouri S&T, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — grants for electric battery research.

In an announcement Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden said the Department of Energy is awarding $106 million total for 37 projects in 17 states to make electric cars more affordable and to produce advanced biofuels more efficiently from renewable electricity instead of sunlight.

"Thanks to the Recovery Act, dozens of cutting-edge research projects with the potential to dramatically transform how we use energy in this country will now be able to get underway," Biden said in a news release. "By investing in our top researchers, we're not only continuing in the spirit of American innovation, but helping build a competitive American clean energy industry that will create secure jobs here at home for years to come."

The grant awarded to Missouri S&T includes equipment to develop high-energy Lithium-Air batteries. According to the news release, the project will aim to significantly improve cathode performance by developing a new electrode structure.

Missouri S&T associate professor Yangchuan Xing said the grant would cover three years of research across several departments.

"In this project, researchers will seek to dramatically improve Lithium-Air air cathode performance through the development of a new hierarchical electrode structure to enhance oxygen diffusion from the air and novel high performance bifunctional oxygen reduction and evolution catalysts," Xing said.

Missouri S&T's research could have national implications, Xing said.

"If successful, this project will dramatically improve the state of the art in ultra high-energy Lithium-Air batteries and will re-establish U.S. technology leadership in this potentially disruptive battery technology for long-range all-electric vehicles," Xing said.

Of the recipients, 57 percent are educational institutions, 24 percent are small businesses, 11 percent are national labs and 8 percent are corporations.

"These projects show that the U.S. can lead the next Industrial Revolution in clean energy technologies, which will help create new jobs, spur innovation and economic growth while helping to cut carbon pollution dramatically," U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.

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