The Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) a research initiative sponsored by industry partners, has recently awarded $8.4 million to seven Stanford research teams to develop new technologies that could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. Student researchers, under the guidance of investigators from Stanford and other collaborating institutions, focus on developing technologies that could significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions.
"We are very pleased to announce the latest round of awards to leading members of the Stanford faculty," said Schlumberger Vice President Rod Nelson, the chair of the GCEP Management Committee. "These seven programs exemplify the kind of high-risk, high-reward energy research that has become the hallmark of the GCEP partnership."
GCEP currently investigates a number of energy resources, systems and uses, including CO2 capture and storage; geoengineering is being considered as a future area of investigation.
Each of the seven research teams are committed to a specific climate-influencing goal. The materials science and engineering (MSE) team is working to improve solar energy conversion by making photovoltaic cells more efficient. The mechanical engineering team is transforming diesel combustion into an environmentally sensitive process that eliminates soot. Chemical engineering and bioengineering researchers aim to develop a clean-burning alternative for natural gas by producing hydrogen from glucose, while another chemical engineering team proposes to design and build carbon solar cells.
Another MSE research team is working to create high-power batteries for the electric grid. This potentially life-changing technology will help address intermittent renewable energy challenges. Chemical, civil and environmental engineering researchers are using bacteria to convert electricity and carbon dioxide into methane gas, ultimately designing a living fuel cell. Lastly, electric and chemical engineers plan to identify new thermally and chemically stable nanomaterials for energy conversion applications.
Schlumberger is one of five sponsors supporting GCEP and its portfolio of efficient energy research programs. The industry partnership formed in December 2002 when ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger and Toyota helped launch GCEP at Stanford University. A fifth corporate sponsor, DuPont, joined in September 2011. With an initial plan to invest USD 225 million over a decade or more, the companies have made significant headway—contributing over USD 113 million to date.