Energy Seminar: The Cutting Edge of Energy Innovation: Three Snapshots
Antonio Baclig – Eutectic Mixing as a Knob for Next-Generation Flow Batteries
Wind and solar resources are abundant, but intermittent, requiring advanced energy storage options. Flow batteries can offer scalability, long cycle-life, and power-to-energy tunability, however, they have low energy density. In order to achieve high-energy density flow batteries, we employ eutectic mixing properties for the depression of melting points of redox-active organic molecules. Predicting the properties of mixtures of more than two components is not commonly done, but we show that, within some classes of molecules, a regular solution model has predictive power for finding eutectic melting temperatures and compositions for mixtures of multiple components.
Antonio is currently a Stanford postdoc in the Materials Science & Engineering Department (Chueh group), having received his Ph.D. from the department in 2019. He is continuing his research from his Ph.D. on new types of flow batteries, now under the funding of ExxonMobil. Prior to graduate school, Antonio worked at a venture-backed clean energy startup and received his B.A. from Harvard University.
Aisulu Aitbekova – Low-Temperature Restructuring of CeO2-Supported Ruthenium Nanoparticles
Catalytic CO2 reduction to fuels and chemicals is one of the major pursuits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. One such popular approach utilizes the reverse water-gas shift reaction, followed by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. In this talk, I will first demonstrate how a structure of a supported ruthenium catalyst affects its activity and selectivity for CO2 hydrogenation at atmospheric pressure. I will then show how we utilized the obtained knowledge to study formation of hydrocarbons from CO2 by synthesizing well-defined ruthenium-iron oxide heterodimers. We observed that ruthenium promotes reduction of iron oxide via a hydrogen spillover effect. Upon reduction, the heterodimers transformed into core-shell structures, which were active for hydrocarbon formation from CO2. Realizing the important role of the metal encapsulation by iron, our next goal is to encapsulate metal nanoparticles inside porous metal oxides using a nanocasting technique.
Aisulu did her undergrad in Kazakhstan. She received master's degree from MIT. Now, she is a 3rd year PhD student in chemical engineering at Stanford University. Her research in the Cargnello Group focuses on design, synthesis, and application of novel materials for catalytic applications.
Mike Howland – Wind Farm Power Optimization Through Wake Steering
Wake effects within wind farms can significantly decrease the power production and increase the cost of electricity. Herein, we designed a novel wake steering control scheme in order to increase the power production of wind farms. The wake steering method was tested in an array of six utility-scale turbines where it increased the power production for wind speeds near the site annual average between 7% and 13% and decreased variability by up to 72%, for selected wind directions at night. These improvements can contribute to the increasing ability of wind farms to provide reliable, low-cost, and efficient base energy load.
Mike is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on the optimal design, control, and predictive forecasting of wind farms under the direction of Professors John Dabiri and Sanjiva Lele. His present research utilizes operational wind farm data to inform and drive real-time optimization of utility scale wind farms
Free and open to all.