Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership enables research in energy and the environment

Thursday, Nov 12, 2015
by czandone

Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership offers corporate members an opportunity to explore research frontiers with faculty and students in areas of energy and the environment. The collaborations are a distinctive activity of Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, which administers the E-ffiliates program.

In its first three years, member contributions have enabled E-ffiliates to catalyze and seed a wide range of collaborative faculty-industry research projects.

Projects have included the development of new types of turbines that can harness electricity from free-flowing water; innovative approaches for deploying energy storage systems on electricity grids; technologies for producing concrete with lower greenhouse-gas emissions; and technologies for turning municipal solid waste into liquid fuels.

“Having our faculty and students work with industry is essential to developing viable and environmentally responsible solutions to meet the world’s energy needs,” said Emily Carter, founding director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. E-ffiliates is administered by the Andlinger Center in collaboration with the Princeton Environmental Institute, the School of Architecture, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

One of this year’s funded projects aims to develop closed cell zinc-bromine cells for large-scale, low-cost energy storage. The project is led by Daniel Steingart, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and Bruce Koel, professor of chemical and biological engineering, in collaboration with ICL-IP North America.

Closed zinc-bromine cells have the potential for high-energy densities and rate capabilities, combined with long cycle lives. To date, the engineering difficulties of economically containing and maintaining a bromine-flow cathode in a flow battery have prevented wider use of bromine cells. Steingart and Koel are working with ICL-IP to improve the design of these cells in ways that will enable their wider use in energy storage.

Membership provides companies with opportunities to work with Princeton scientists who are world leaders in the energy and environment sectors. Members can visit Princeton’s state-ofthe- art facilities and have opportunities to meet and recruit the next generation of energy and environment leaders, Princeton students and postdoctoral fellows. Members of E-ffiliates include DuPont, ExxonMobil, PSEG and Southern Company.

“Corporate involvement through research support, visitors in residence, postdoctoral programs and other mentorship activities is an essential and distinguishing feature of the Andlinger Center,” said Paul Chirik, the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry and the associate director for external partnerships of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.