Caltech Honors Innovators with Significant CO2 Reduction Technologies

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The Range of Strategies Target Three Different Sources of CO2 Emissions for Saving the Environment

Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute has honored five innovators with creative solutions to cutting CO2 emissions. Recognizing the need for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the risks of climate change, this year’s recipients of the Resonate Awards for Sustainability have developed an array of technologies aimed at cutting the largest sources of them.

The honorees have addressed three key areas in which technological innovations can have a significant impact on reducing energy-related emissions that are driving climate change.

1. Tackling inefficiencies in current systems is the goal of two of the recipients, who have developed new materials and technologies that can cut energy use and the associated CO2 emissions. One breakthrough enables smart windows for better building energy management and another dramatically reduces the energy required for cellular networks and devices.

2. A second focus is on innovations that make clean energies which emit no CO2 possible. These include new battery, solar, and fuel cell advancements facilitating adoption of alternative fuels and transportation technologies.

3. A third, and often overlooked way of attacking CO2 emissions, is in the strategic use of waste as a resource. Here, one of the awardees has targeted industrial processes that put out a lot of CO2 waste (such as steel manufacturing). His team has created a new process that consumes waste CO2 from flue gas along with an industrial byproduct that would have otherwise been land-filled to make a valuable industrial product.

“These talented scientists are producing innovations that make a tremendous positive impact on the environment. The goal of the Resonate Awards is to focus attention on creative people tackling these very tough problems,” said Harry Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science and Director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, as well as the founder of the Resonate Awards program at Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute.”
The winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • Yi Cui (Stanford University, USA): Resonate Award recipient for engineering enhanced batteries and other sustainable energy related devices through innovations in nanotechnology.
  • Joel L. Dawson (Eta Devices, USA): Resonate Award recipient for innovations solving key power challenges in the cellular communications industry.
  • Tsutomu Ioroi (Research Institute of Electrochemical Energy / AIST, Japan): Resonate Award recipient for innovating enhanced materials for next-generation fuel cells.
  • Mika Järvinen (Aalto University, Finland): Resonate Award recipient for pioneering a CO2 sequestration process that converts a low-value steel- manufacturing by-product into a valuable resource for industry.
  • Delia J. Milliron (University of Texas at Austin, USA): Resonate Award recipient for leveraging nanomaterials to improve the carbon reduction capabilities of smart windows.

More 2015 honoree details can be found at http://resnick.caltech.edu/awards-winners2015.php

“The challenges in sustainability are becoming increasing visible on many fronts -– from the Vatican to new government agreements and plans in the lead up to the upcoming Paris Cop21 climate talks,” said Dr. Neil Fromer, Executive Director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute. “These awards shine a light on a wide range of new technology solutions designed to meet these challenges.”

About The Resnick Sustainability Institute
The Resnick Institute is Caltech’s studio focused on the breakthroughs that will change the balance of the world’s sustainability. It marries bold creativity and deep scientific knowledge by encouraging original thinking and orthogonal ideas. The Resnick Institute works with some of the world’s top and emerging scientists – at the California Institute of Technology and beyond. Current projects at the Resnick Institute include research into energy generation, such as advanced photovoltaics, photoelectrochemical solar fuels, cellulosic biofuels, and wind energy system design; energy conversion work on batteries and fuel cells; and energy efficiency and management such as fuel efficient vehicles, green chemical synthesis, thermoelectric materials, and advanced research on electrical grid control and distribution.

For more information, visit http://resnick.caltech.edu.

Editors, note: All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their respective companies.

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