About nine projects of 81 proposals representing 23 departments, labs, and centers were selected to use up to $150,000 each to support early-stage innovative research across the energy spectrum.

The teams will use the grants, awarded under the annual Seed Fund Program, to advance research in areas including fuel cells, solar-powered water desalination, and impacts of electric vehicle charging on the power grid.

The Seed Fund Program is designed to support innovative, early-stage research across the energy spectrum. It also supports researchers to collaborate in exploring new energy-related ideas and to open up new avenues for research.

MITEI director Robert Armstrong said: "MITEI’s Seed Fund awards provide fertile ground for innovative and collaborative research efforts aimed at key global energy and climate solutions.

"The early-stage projects that our members are supporting through the MITEI Seed Fund Program this year have immense potential, and I have no doubt they’ll join the ranks of past years’ winners in successfully tackling some of our most difficult energy questions."

The selected projects include advanced algorithms for carbon capture and sequestration monitoring; aluminum polymer battery for automobile propulsion; combined electrochemical concentration and upgrading of carbon dioxide; and efficient ensemble-based closed-loop oil reservoir management using hyper-reduced-order models.

Other projects include cost-optimizing solar power systems for water desalination; cybersafety analysis of energy systems; and design of metal-oxide surfaces for fast oxygen exchange in fuel cells, synthetic fuel production and separation membranes

Additional projects considered for the grants include engineering bifunctional catalysts for CO2-fischer tropsc; and understanding the impact of electric vehicle charging on the power grid.

Image: MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering Associate Professor Bilge Yildiz and MIT Reacting Gas Dynamics Laboratory director Ahmed Ghoniem. Photo: courtesy of Denis Paiste, Materials Processing Center at MIT; MIT Mechanical Engineering Department.