News and Announcements

Advancing Sustainable Energy Research for low-cost replacement for platinum leads to patent-pending technology

New research published by Rutgers University chemists has documented significant progress confronting one of the main challenges inhibiting widespread utilization of sustainable power: Creating a cost-effective process to store energy so it can be used later.

“We have developed a compound, Ni5P4 (nickel-5 phosphide-4), that has the potential to replace platinum in two types of electrochemical cells: electrolyzers that make hydrogen by splitting water through hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) powered by electrical energy, and fuel cells that make electricity from combining hydrogen and oxygen,” said Rutgers Chemistry Professor Charles Dismukes. “Platinum is the benchmark material for both devices as it has the best conversion efficiency. However, while platinum may be acceptable for making jewelry and low volume specialty applications, it is too expensive for large-scale applications such as energy storage and conversion. Our new HER catalyst, Ni5P4, has the strong potential to overcome this challenge.” Read More

Paul Falkowski, Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI), discusses climate intervention as a business opportunity in a collaboration with Rutgers Business School. Professor  Falkowski talks about two interventions as business opportunities for reducing the effects of carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.

Bob Kopp, REI Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, appeared on NJTV to discuss current research on sea level rise in New Jersey.

The Energy Department announced $2.5 million in available funding for the Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP), which aims to inspire the next generation of clean energy entrepreneurs. This funding opportunity will support the commercialization of promising technologies for sectors such as solar and wind that reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy economy.

The Cleantech UP will create a strong national infrastructure focused on collegiate high-tech entrepreneurship that accelerates the rate of clean energy innovation in the United States, establishing a national Cleantech UP Hub and supporting up to eight Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions. The Cleantech UP Hub will create a national prize, train student entrepreneurs, and serve as a coordinating body for energy entrepreneurship training, while the Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will provide prizes for eight individual university-focused competitions that will equip students with business skills to move clean energy technologies from the discovery phase to the marketplace. Together, the Cleantech UP Hub and Cleantech UP Collegiate Competitions will form a strategic network that increases student entrepreneurs' participation—both in quantity and quality—in clean energy, and addresses the existing gaps in early-stage commercialization training.

Cleantech UP will build on the success of its precursor, the Energy Department's National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (NCEBPC), which leveraged growing interest in energy entrepreneurship to expand student engagement in clean energy technologies. Launched in 2011, the NCEBPC has attracted more than 750 teams, resulting in more than 70 ventures and generating $38 million in follow-on funding.

Organizations interested in supporting clean energy entrepreneurship should apply. Find more information about this funding opportunity, including application requirements, here .

This funding opportunity builds on the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's work to accelerate development and facilitate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.

  • DE-FOA-0001271
  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 3/4/2015 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 4/16/2015 5:00 PM ET 

Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 2015 byBloomberg New Energy Finance: the Factbook has documented the revolution transforming how the US produces, delivers, and consumes energy.

Program solicitation for graduate students to conduct thesis research at 15 DOE National Laboratories.  Applications are now being accepted.

The James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship has been established to allow graduate students from Rutgers University interested in climate change preparedness measures to undertake projects to help advance the mission and objectives of the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance. James J. Gallagher Family Fellowship

  • Summer 2015 applications being accepted by February 16, 2015.
  • Application information here .

National Academy of Sciences Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.

February 10, 2015. 11:00 AM. Climate Intervention Reports Release. Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration and Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth.  Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences;  Marica McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science and Chair of the reports authorizing committee; David Titley, Penn State University; Scott Doney, WHOI; Waleed Abdalati, CIRES-U of Colorado.  

These reports provide a scientific foundation to help inform the ethical, legal, and political discussions surrounding climate intervention (also known as geoengineering)—the purposeful intervention in the climate system to counter climate change. The reports assess the potential impacts, benefits, and costs of two different proposed classes of climate intervention: (1) carbon dioxide removal and (2) albedo modification (reflecting sunlight). The reports also discuss governance issues and the research needed to provide a credible scientific underpinning for future discussions.

  • more information here.

Anne Marie Carlton , assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences, has been appointed to a newly established ad hoc National Research Council committee on the Future of Atmospheric Chemistry , whose goal is to identify priorities and strategic steps forward for atmospheric chemistry research for the next decade.  The Committee will study the need for supporting a comprehensive U.S. research program in atmospheric chemistry, including how research in this area contributes to advancing our understanding of climate change, air quality, the carbon and nitrogen cycles, the energy and water cycles, and the overall role of the atmosphere in Earth system science.

for Rutgers New Brunswick Undergraduate Students
Sponsored by The Rutgers Energy Institute

The Rutgers Energy Institute (REI) is hosting its annual energy competition intended to engage students in devising creative and innovative solutions in reducing energy at Rutgers.  "Energy Innovation" is the challenge for this 2017 competition.  

The Goal: 
One goal of the Rutgers Energy Institute is to work with students, faculty and staff across the campus complex to reduce our carbon-footprint and make significant strides towards a carbon neutral university.

The Challenge:
To develop an implementable plan reducing student energy consumption on campus as well as promoting awareness about smarter eco-friendly practices across campus.  Students must demonstrate how energy can be conserved by creating innovative solutions to common energy expenditures.

Eligibility:
Enrolled undergraduate students in any program on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus are eligible. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible. Register for the competition by sending an email indicating intent to submit an entry to Beatrice Birrer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than February 24, 2017.


Submission Date:
Proposals should be submitted on or before March 25, 2017 via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Prizes:
Three awards ($2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place) will be awarded to undergraduate students or teams who have submitted energy reduction plans selected to be the most innovative, practical, and low-cost solutions by a panel composed of faculty chosen by the REI Advisory Board.  

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