Energy Center

Technologies

Office of Technology Commercialization assists in the protection, marketing and licensing of the Purdue university’s intellectual properties. Some of these technologies are listed below.

Wind Turbine Blade Load Monitoring

Researchers at Purdue have developed an inexpensive and reliable method to give more accurate and timely information about the changing wind profiles to the controllers of the windmill. This technology can maximize efficiency in low wind conditions all-the-while protecting the windmill from stress damage due to high winds.

Rapid Synthesis of Multinary Chalcogenide Nanoparticles

Researchers at Purdue University have developed an innovative technology that is a fast and simple process for the synthesis of binary, ternary, and multinary nanoparticles of various combinations of Cu, In, Ga, and Se using commonly available precursors at moderate temperatures and atmosphere pressures.

Selenization of Precursor Layer Containing CuInS2 Nanoparticles

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a photovoltaic printing technology utilizing CuInS2 nanocrystal inks, allowing for the creation of CIGS at the molecular level. This is beneficial because smaller particles will lead to a more densely packed nanoparticle film, and it allows for the fabrication of the film with solely the CuInS2 nanoparticle or a mixture of the CuInS2 nanoparticle with other CIGS materials, such as CuIn(Sy,Se1-y)2, CuGaS2, CuGa(Sy,Se1-y)2, Cu(InGa1-x)S2, and Cu(InxGa1-x)(Sy,Se1-7)2. This process is also safe, less expensive, and has a high production yield.

I-III-IV Absorber Films Using Nanoparticle Inks

The optical and electrical properties of the CIGSSe absorber depend strongly on the composition. Thus, one of the major challenges to all deposition techniques is the ability to control and maintain the composition at the molecular level. To overcome this challenge, researchers at Purdue University have developed a method related to the fabrication and control of the composition profile along the depth Cu(In1-xGax(S1-ySey)2 absorber films where 0≤x≤1 and 0≤y≤1, through the utilization of ink solutions containing Cu(In1-xGax(S1-ySey)2 nanoparticles where 0≤x≤1 and 0≤y≤1. This method utilizes a precursor layer containing CIGSSe nanoparticles followed by selenization, which converts the nanoparticles into a densely packed absorber film that is fixed at the molecular level.

Chemical liquid Deposition and Solution Phase Chalcogenization for the Formation of Multinary Metal Chalcogenide Thin Films

Researchers at Purdue University have recently discovered an innovative, low-cost deposition method of multinary metal chalcogenide films for applications in photovoltaic devices.

Synthesis of Multinary Chalcogenid Nanoparticles Comprising of Cu, Zn, Sn, S, and Se

Researchers at Purdue University have discovered an innovative methodthat is related to the synthesis of multinary chalcoenide nanoparticles comprising of Cu, Zn, Sn, S, and Se. This method would allow for improved thin films for photovoltaic applications because of tin and zinc’s natural abundance in the earth’s crust and the relatively low toxicity.

Nanoscale Heterostructure-Based Thermoelectric Conversion

Purdue University researchers have developed a solution phase method to synthesize three new dumbbell-like nanowire heterostructures. After obtaining the well-defined nanowires, precursor solutions are injected and octahedrals selectively grow at both ends of the nanowires to form the dumbbell structures.

Ultrathin Nanowire-Based Thermoelectric Conversion

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a facile solution phase method for the synthesis of ultrathin PbTe and Bi2Te3 nanowires with diameters of 10 nm or less using the ultrathin Te nanowires as the in-situ templates. PbTe and Bi2Te3 are the best candidates for thermoelectric conversion at temperatures close to room temperature and at 500K, respectively.

Synthesis of Oxide Based Thermoelectric Materials for High Temperature Applications

Purdue University researchers have developed several novel titanates for use in advanced thermoelectric devices. These new titanates could be used for harvesting electricity from the waste heat at high temperatures where a traditional Tellurium or Antimony-based compound will either oxidize or decompose. Alternative applications of this technology include use as energy storage devices such as in super capacitors.

Nanostructured Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide-based Thermoelectric Energy Conversion

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new type of highly efficient, environmentally friendly thermoelectric material. These thermoelectric materials are based on a nanostructured Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide (CZTS), all of which are cheap, abundant, and non-toxic elements. In addition to being cheaper and safer to produce, this technology works for over a wider range of temperatures than most conventional thermoelectric materials.

Flexible Polymer-Based Thermoelectric Materials on Fabrics for Use as Personal Cooling/Heating Clothes and Portable Power Source

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new device which is thinner and more flexible than current thermoelectric devices so it can be coated onto fabric used to make clothing. Having clothing that keeps the body cool will protect those in hot climates, such as battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, from heat related illnesses and can also reduce detection by infrared body heat detectors. This device can also be used to convert body heat into electricity and serve as a portable power source.

Procedures for the Synthesis of Ethylenediamine Bisborane and Improved Synthesis of Ammonia Borane

Researchers at Purdue University have developed an improved process for the preparation of ammonia borane in 85-92 percent yield and greater than 98 percent purity using sodium borohydride and ammonium salts in the presence of ammonia in THF at zero degrees Celsius, without the need of an inert atmosphere. An efficient process has also been developed to prepare ethylenediamine bisborane complex (EDAB) from ammonia borane in THF. The prepared EDAB contains 11.4 percent by weight of hydrogen that can be liberated for fuel cell applications and has the potential to meet the Department of Energy targets for hydrogen storage.

Ammonia Removal for Hydrogen PEM Fuel Cells

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a novel process for ammonia/hydrogen separation in vehicular proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications. Through a dual process of ammonia absorption using recycled water from the fuel cell and adsorption through activated carbon, the weight penalty of the hydrogen purification system can be minimalized.
Additionally the combination of absorption and adsorption allows this technique to remain effective for a much longer time period before ammonia concentrations raises above acceptable levels as compared to either absorption or adsorption alone. This allows for the continued delivery of ultra-high purity hydrogen with minimal purification system weight.

High and Rapid Hydrogen Release from Thermolysis of Ammonia Borane near PEM Fuel Cell Operating Temperatures

A new method of thermolysis, developed at Purdue University, produces a high yield of hydrogen for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells without requiring additives or extreme temperatures. This provides an excellent fuel source for PEM FCs. Since PEM fuel cells are used in automobiles, this could be a possible alternative to fossil fuels.

Control System for an On-Demand Gas Generator

Gases such as hydrogen can be produced “on demand” from a reaction between a solid and a liquid. These reactions are eutectic in nature and are very difficult to control. Producing hydrogen “on demand” has many applications in today’s market. Currently, these gas generators (reaction vessels) require a very complex and expensive pressure sensing control system to account for the uncontrollable eutectic reactions.
Inventors at Purdue University have developed a novel concept for a control system for gas generators that reduces the cost and complexity of the device.

Aluminum Rich Aluminum-Tin Alloy for Splitting Water

Purdue researchers have developed a new aluminum-tin (Al-Sn) alloy for splitting hydrogen from water. This new alloy does not corrode when exposed to high humidity, and it can be used to produce hydrogen more efficiently than existing alloys using the same amount of raw material. These properties make the Al-Sn alloy ideal for use as a long-term energy storage material.

Modular Heat Exchanger for Metal Hydride Hydrogen Storage

Inventors at Purdue University have developed a unique modular heat exchanger for use in hydrogen fuel cells. The patent pending internal design optimizes both pellet contact area for increased heat transfer and hydride pellet capacity. Additionally, the modular design allows for easy replacement of defective or malfunctioning modules. These highly efficient heat exchangers can provide the necessary heat to evaporate the liquid hydrogen while remaining compact and durable enough for use over the broad range of temperatures and under the high environmental pressure of a hydrogen storage tank.

Micro-Channel Heat Exchanger for Metal Hydride Hydrogen Storage

Inventors at Purdue University have developed a unique micro-channel heat exchanger for solid-state hydrogen storage. The patent pending internal micro-channel design optimizes both powder/pellet contact area for increased heat transfer and hydride powder/pellet capacity. This highly efficient heat exchanger provides the necessary cooling power to meet the Department of Energy, fill time target of less than 5 min. This is the only design to achieve this target. No other metal hydride storage systems have been demonstrated to cross the 5 min fill time mark. In fact, published values range from 10 to as high as 100 minutes.

Coiled-Tube Heat Exchanger for Metal Hydride Hydrogen Storage

Inventors at Purdue University have developed a unique coiled-tube heat exchanger for solid-state hydrogen storage. The patent pending internal design optimizes both powder/pellet contact area for increased heat transfer and hydride powder/pellet capacity. This highly efficient heat exchanger provides the necessary cooling power to meet the Department of Energy, fill time target of less than 5 min. This is the only design to achieve this target. No other metal hydride storage systems have been demonstrated to cross the 5 min fill time mark. In fact, published values range from 10 to as high as 100 minutes.

Process for Producing Synthetic Liquid Hydrocarbon

Purdue researchers have developed a method of synthesis for liquid hydrocarbon fuels using biomass and a carbon-free energy source. The process converts a larger amount of carbon in a biomass to hydrocarbon fuel. Because of the increased efficiency in the carbon conversion, less land area is needed to produce the fuel.

Novel Integrated Gasification-Pyrolysis Process

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a process to produce liquid hydrocarbons using biomass hydropyrolysis. The biomass is processed in the presence of a syngas to reduce the amount of oxygen present in the resulting bio-oil. The syngas, which contains carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is provided by the gasification of coal.

Fast Hydropyrolysis for Hydrogen Bio-Oil

Researchers from Purdue University have invented a process of “fast” pyrolysis, which is to be used on biomass. The process feeds H2 from a carbon-free source to a fluidized bed reactor. The H2 is mixed with a biomass in the reactor. The resulting mixture produces a biomass containing less oxygen atoms than normal due to the addition of the hydrogen. The H2 bio-oil has all of the advantages of conventional bio-oil in addition to a greatly increased energy density all-the-while retaining compatibility with the conventional hydrocarbon fuel distribution, a truly carbon neutral solution to the Green transportation fuels concern.

Low Lignin, Second-generation BioEnergy Crops

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a transgenic variety of poplar tree for use as feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production. The transformed plant accumulates biomass faster that its non-transgenic counterpart. The biomass produced is more easily converted as a result of modified lignin, and the plant is sterile. In addition, the plants have multiple stems, allowing for harvest using existing equipment.

Multipurpose Coke Plant for Synthetic Fuel Production

Inventors at Purdue have developed an optimization algorithm for coke that could reduce annual coal fuel costs by up to 10% all-the-while allowing consideration for overlook by-products that now have revenue potential. This cost reduction is obtained through the use of cheaper, lower heat content, high sulfur coal from sources such as the Illinois Basin.

Residential Heat Pump with Two-Stage Compression for Nordic Climates

Nordic climates necessitate larger heating requirements than more southern, temperate regions. Typical heat pump systems include single stage and ground, i.e. geothermal, heat pumps. These traditional heat pump solutions have lower efficiencies and higher operating cost relative to multi-compressor heat pump systems.
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a heat pump system that both operate at a relatively higher efficiency and at lower cost.

About the Energy Center

The Center’s mission is to grow the Purdue energy research and education enterprise. We engage researchers and students in a community that delivers new discoveries and develops disruptive technologies with national and global impact.


Contact

Maureen McCann

Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Pankaj Sharma

Managing Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Mann Hall, Rm 105
203 South Martin Jischke Dr.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1971