U receives $1.8M grant to research energy-efficient technology

Hailey Colwell


University of Minnesota researchers might increase U.S. energy efficiency, thanks to a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.

The three-year grant would allow University researchers to continue their work on membrane technology that could improve manufacturing efficiency across a variety of industries, according to a University press release.

The technology could decrease energy use in the U.S. by about 3 percent, according to the release.

Chemical engineering and materials science professor Michael Tsapatsis and his research team developed zeolite nanosheets, which can be used to save energy in the separation and purification processes of manufacturing. The team published its findings in Science Magazine last June.

The researchers will focus on implementing the technology in plastics and biofuel production, two industries in which there’s a growing market for new membrane technology, according to the release.

The grant will help the team bring their work into the commercial world, Tsapatsis told University News.

"We have the science," Tsapatsis said, "but this grant will allow us to scale up the research and move it closer to market.”