The opening session for Energy I-Corps Cohort 13 was held Sept. 20–24, 2021, and the closing session was held Nov. 16–18, 2021.
Cohort 13 was composed of 16 teams from Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Idaho National Laboratory (INL), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Sandia National Laboratory (SNL).
The entirety of Cohort 13 was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teams and Technologies
Team 147: Athena - NREL
- Principle Investigator: Monte Lunacek
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Lindy Williams
- Industry Mentor: John Meissner
We are using high-performance computing and algorithms in optimization and data science to help improve mobility at transportation hubs such as airports and seaports.
Team 148: DFI - SNL
- Principle Investigator: Charles J. Mueller
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Kirby J. Baumgard
- Industry Mentor: Danan Dou
Ducted fuel injection can reduce pollutant emissions from highly efficient, heavy-duty diesel engines by 50% to 100% for engine manufacturers using a simple mechanical device that is installed inside the combustion chamber. The system is synergistic with fuels that don’t cause climate change, and it is potentially retrofittable to current engines. It is also 25% to 90% less expensive than current or proposed future approaches, making it a great solution for applications where long range, light weight, small size, and rapid re-energizing are critical.
Team 149: ThermaSET - SNL
- Principle Investigator: Erica Redline
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Koushik Ghosh
- Industry Mentor: Heidi Burch
Crosslinked polymers (e.g., epoxies, urethanes) are robust materials often used for protective applications such as coatings and underfills in microelectronic, aeronautical, and other industries. However, when heated or cooled, these protective polymers tend to expand and contract faster than the items they are trying to protect, leading to stresses that can cause failure. Adding fillers marginally helps in reducing the thermal expansion and contraction of the polymers but often creates additional problems with processing. We have developed a unique chemistry solution to combat disparities in thermal expansion mismatch of crosslinked polymers and substrates without using fillers—novel curative molecules that contract upon heating.
Team 150: GLIDES - ORNL
- Principle Investigator: Ahmad Abuheiba
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Ayyoub Momen
- Industry Mentor: Andrei Zorilescu
GLIDES is an energy storage technology that stores electricity at half the cost of batteries and, unlike batteries, lasts for more than 20 years. It consists of pressure vessels filled with gas to high pressure. When excess electricity is available, it is used to run a pump that pushes liquid into the vessels, raising the gas pressure higher. The electric energy is then stored in the form of compressed gas. To retrieve the stored energy, the water that is under high pressure in the vessels is discharged through a turbine. The turbine spins an electric generator to generate electricity.
Team 151: Fractured - SNL
- Principle Investigator: Timothy Briggs
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Nalini Menon
- Industry Mentor: Cliff Hudson
Our technology redefines the approach to fracture mechanics testing of structurally bonded materials for engineering design. We have revolutionized the process of specimen preparation and mechanical testing in order to significantly improve efficiencies. Our approach allows many more environments and testing conditions to be evaluated in a fraction of the time and cost in order to make products better, more reliable, and less expensive.
Team 152: EnStore for BTMS - NREL
- Principle Investigator: Darice Guittet
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Madeline Gilleran
- Industry Mentor: Alexander Clark
EnStore, short for energy storage, is a tool developed to evaluate how innovative, critical-material-free energy storage technologies can be used to minimize electricity costs and the need for significant upgrades to the grid while supporting electric vehicle deployment. EnStore simulates the system performance of buildings with fast-charging stations for electric vehicles, whose grid impacts may be buffered with renewable-energy, electric-storage, and thermal-energy technologies. EnStore helps stakeholders understand the design and opportunity space across sites with different building types, climates, utility rates, and electric vehicle charging station designs and utilization levels.
Team 153: Wolfram Plating - SNL
- Principle Investigator: Tylan Watkins
- Entrepreneurial Leads: Kyle Klavetter, Carlos Perez
- Industry Mentor: Aaron Velasquez
Our technology is a chemical formula and process for electroplating tungsten.
Team 154: High Flying Hydrides - NREL
- Principle Investigator: Katherine Hurst
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Kurt Van Allsburg
- Industry Mentor: Brian DeBruine
Emerging technologies in fuel-cell-powered electric aircraft (drones, helicopters) require rapid, on-demand hydrogen delivery to meet capacity and flight time requirements. FLASH creates a quick release of pure hydrogen gas at a low temperature that could enable breakthroughs for electric aviation. The FLASH technology is a modified metal hydride that can be integrated directly into a fuel cartridge system, which are easily amendable to scale up. Beyond electric aviation, this new technology could address technical barriers for quick fuel-cell startup, uninterrupted hydrogen supply, and remote high-pressure hydrogen.
Team 155: Lithium Battery - INL
- Principle Investigator: Bin Li
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Corey Efaw
- Industry Mentor: Feng Zhao
We developed a lithium-metal anode with a protective coating to use in a battery. This coating is porous, which allows lithium ions to travel to and from the lithium metal with ease, as well as able to handle the volume change of the lithium metal very well during ion plating and stripping without cracking. This coating design can be used to improve the stability of metal-based batteries, which are of interest for new clean energy.
Team 156: memQ - ANL
- Principle Investigator: Sean Sullivan
- Entrepreneurial Leads: Rohit Nagpal, Manish Singh
- Industry Mentor: Andreas Roelofs
Quantum technologies take advantage of the most fundamental laws of physics for new ways of approaching computation, sensing, and ultrasecure communication. Team memQ has developed a materials platform to enable the development of quantum devices at scale. memQ uses high-quality thin films that host atom-sized quantum defects. These thin films are compatible with existing semiconductor processing technology, enabling large-scale fabrication of quantum devices and integration with photonics.
Team 157: REVAMP - NREL
- Principle Investigator: Mikhail O. Konev
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Kevin P. Sullivan
- Industry Mentors: Alice Havill, Jill Martin
Our technology seeks to address the problem of waste plastic pollution by developing a process that can convert mixed plastics to value-added products through a chemical and biological funneling approach. This system uses metal catalysts and air to degrade both individual and mixed plastic waste streams to oxidized products, which can either be separated directly or be fed to microbes that have been engineered to consume a variety of products and generate a single output. This technology is operative for a wide range of commercially used plastics, and the organisms can be tailored to generate a variety of value-added products.
Team 158: Lab-on-a-Fish - PNNL
- Principle Investigator: Jun Lu
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Brett Pflugrath
- Industry Mentor: Doug McMakin
Lab-on-a-Fish is the world’s first miniaturized biotelemetry tag that combines edge computing with wireless sensing of in vivo physiology (electrocardiogram and electromyogram), behavior (acceleration and gyration), and ambient environment (temperature, pressure, and magnetic sensor). Lab-on-a-Fish simultaneously evaluates and monitors the health, behavior, and environment of fish or small aquatic species. Its ability to store and transmit historical sensor data on both environmental parameters and bioactivity offers valuable information for studying fish behavior and response, as well as for conservation and sustainability studies. Raw data on the health, behavior, and environment of the tagged animal is transmitted in real-time and stored using on-board flash memory.
Team 159: Hyper Team - NETL
- Principle Investigator: Dan Oryshchyn
- Entrepreneurial Leads: Sam Bayham, Nata Indrawan
- Industry Mentors: Kerry Hanahan, Jessica Sinclair
A hybrid solid oxide fuel cell and gas turbine power system offers an effective solution for supporting distributed power. Due to increased solar and wind generation, electric generators are currently experiencing frequent ramping operations. To cope with this challenge, flexible distributed-scale power-generation systems with high efficiency are needed for grid stability. This hybrid system provides fuel flexibility, a maximum efficiency of 76% on natural gas, and quick ramping capability. Deployment of this technology can satisfy the influx of intermittent renewable power while lowering carbon emissions.
Team 160: Mesofluidics - PNNL
- Principle Investigator: Xiao-Ying Yu
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Carolyne Burns
- Industry Mentor: Ernesto Faillace
Clog-free filtration is needed across a broad range of industries. Mesofluidic separators are like microfluidic separators but they operate at higher flowrates (e.g., ~1 L/min and higher versus ~10 mL/h) and have dimensions of millimeters. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed a novel mesofluidic separation approach that uses periodic arrays of posts (here 500 μm in diameter 800 μm apart) to achieve separation with continuous flows instead of using membranes or porous adsorbents. Large internal void volumes make it unlikely to form cake and fouling in the bump array, permitting operation at high flowrates with low-energy consumption for diverse separation applications.
Team 161: GALILEO - ANL
- Principle Investigator: Moinuddin Ahmed
- Entrepreneurial Leads: John Hryn, Rajesh Pathak
Argonne’s In-situ physics-of-device-failure analysis techniques is intended to advance manufacturing of wide-bandgap power electronic devices and components.
Team 162: C3D - INL
- Principle Investigator: Steve Bukowski
- Entrepreneurial Lead: Jake Gentle
- Industry Mentor: Michael Harris
The Constrained Communications Cyber Device (C3D) is designed to reduce the cyber-attack surface of industrial control devices. C3D is focused initially on serial communications and constraining communications on the serial link during desired times.