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Battery Electrode and Materials Recycling by Rapid High-temperature Heating
Challenge ­Recycling end-of-life Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) for second use applications is an effective strategy to secure the supply chain of battery materials. Current commercial LIB recycling methods, including hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes, primarily aim to recover the valuable metals such as Li, Co, Ni, and Mn from the...
Published: 6/6/2024   |   Inventor(s): Feng Lin, Lei Tao, Liangbing Hu, Xizheng Wang, Tangyuan Li
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Energy, Technology Classifications > Electronics
Solid-infused Surfaces for Efficient Condensation
THE CHALLENGE Thermoelectric power plants are significant water consumers, with estimates of up to 49% of total U.S. water use being attributed to them. As water resources become more precious due to climate change and population growth, steam condensation in power generation must adapt and become more efficient. Efficiency improvements to power plant...
Published: 1/4/2024   |   Inventor(s): Ranga Pitchumani, Ryan Stoddard
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Chemicals/Materials, Technology Classifications > Energy
Recovering Critical Elements from Acid Mine Drainage
THE CHALLENGE The demand for certain elements, such as Manganese (Mn), Cobalt (Co), and Nickel (Ni), has surged in recent years due to the rapid growth of battery production for electric vehicles and utility-scale energy storage. The United States government has deemed Co, Ni, and Mn critical elements, primarily because of the country’s high...
Published: 11/8/2023   |   Inventor(s): Wencai Zhang, Qi Li
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Energy, Technology Classifications > Mining and Recycling, Technology Classifications, Technology Classifications > Chemicals/Materials
Molecular Cage for the Capture of Large Cations
THE CHALLENGE Cesium-137 is a radioactive isotope which is a common fission product of nuclear reactors around the world. After nuclear accidents, Cs is easily spread throughout the environment via the air and is extremely difficult to remove from the environment due to water-solubility. High levels of exposure to Cs-137 can lead to death, while lower...
Published: 11/7/2023   |   Inventor(s): Amanda Morris, Stefan Ilic, Ann May, Pavel Usov, Hannah Cornell, Bradley Gibbons
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Chemicals/Materials, Technology Classifications > Energy
Thin Film to Improve Lithium Batteries
­​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​THE CHALLENGE Lithium ion batteries are extremely popular in modern electronics due to their high energy and power density as well as a lack of memory effect. Unfortunately, Li ion batteries are hampered with problems involving internal short circuits due to lithium dendrite growth....
Published: 11/7/2023   |   Inventor(s): Guoliang Liu, Dong Guo
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Chemicals/Materials, Technology Classifications > Energy
Simultaneous Ocean Wave and Current Energy Harvesting using a Single Power Takeoff
Marine and hydrokinetic energy harvesting heavily depends on the type of Power Takeoff (PTO) that converts water motion into electricity. However, existing ocean energy converters can convert only one of ocean wave, tidal stream or marine current energy, which fails to fully exploit the potential when both energy sources are available, such as in the...
Published: 11/3/2023   |   Inventor(s): Lei Zuo, Robert Parker, Xiaofan Li
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Energy
High-energy Lithium Batteries
THE CHALLENGE Lithium ion batteries are utilized as power sources in a wide range of applications due to their high energy density capabilities. They are the ideal power source for today’s electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Much of the future of renewable energy will be shaped by the evolution of lithium ion batteries and the industry is...
Published: 11/1/2023   |   Inventor(s): Feng Lin, James Steiner
Keywords(s):  
Category(s): Technology Classifications > Chemicals/Materials, Technology Classifications > Energy, Technology Classifications > Transportation, Technology Classifications > Environment/Green Tech
3D Printable Multifunctional Fibers
THE CHALLENGE 3D printing has enabled the customized production of many objects and devices, but that technology currently only creates passive units. THE SOLUTION Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a coaxial micro-extrusion technique that enables us to take advantage of triboelectric energy generation and custom build sensors to fit anywhere....
Published: 11/6/2023   |   Inventor(s): Blake Johnson, Yuxin Tong, John Robertson, Xiaoting Jia, Ziang Feng
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Category(s): Technology Classifications > Engineering, Technology Classifications > Biotechnology, Technology Classifications > Biomedical, Technology Classifications > Energy, Technology Classifications > Additive Manufacturing, Technology Classifications > Electronics, Technology Classifications > Medical Devices