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Researcher at Center of Clean Energy Projects Supported by $5.6M in ARPA-E Funding

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland and the UMD-linked startup HighT-Tech this week announced a combined $5.6 million in awards from the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as part of a funding program to support novel approaches to clean energy.

Liangbing Hu, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at UMD, director of the Center for Materials Innovation and founder of HighT-Tech, is involved with both grants.

Supported by a $2.6 million grant to UMD, Hu’s team aims to fabricate fast-charging batteries in which the electrolyte comprises a cellulose fiber-based ion conductor. The technology uses natural materials that are easy to process and compatible with conventional coating processes. This approach could enable high conductivity at room temperature, high-energy density and roll-to-roll manufacturing of nanopaper batteries at a low cost to consumers.

Meanwhile, HighT-Tech received $3 million to create scalable manufacturing processes of high-entropy alloy (HEA) catalysts for ammonia oxidation that could reduce the use of precious metals, enhance energy efficiency and improve the economics of chemical industries even as it reduces their environmental impact.

The addition of these two awards brings UMD's total to 35 ARPA-E awards, totaling nearly $80 million since ARPA-E’s 2009 founding.

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