Author: Sun and Sea: UConn Professor Advances in National Solar Desalination Contest

University of Connecticut professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering Jeff McCutcheon is a quarter finalist in the American-Made Challenges: Solar Desalination Prize administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

High salinity brines from oil and gas production, mining and industrial wastewaters are challenging to treat with conventional desalination technologies. Scientists have been working on various techniques to use solar energy to drive desalination processes.

“A real opportunity for solar thermal distillation technology is in the treatment of brines that are not treatable by conventional desalination technologies, like reverse osmosis,” McCutcheon says.

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Author: New Study Sheds Light on Conditions that Trigger Supernovae Explosions

Understanding the thermonuclear explosion of Type Ia supernovae — powerful and luminous stellar explosions — is only possible through theoretical models, which previously were not able to account for the mechanism that detonated the explosion.

One of the key pieces of this explosion, present virtually in all models, is the formation of a supersonic reaction wave called detonation, which can travel faster than the speed of sound and is capable of burning up all of the material of a star before it gets dispersed into the vacuum of space.

But, the physics of the mechanisms that create a detonation in a star has been elusive.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut, Texas A&M University,
University of Central Florida, Naval Research Laboratory, and Air Force Research Laboratory has developed a theory that sheds light on the enigmatic process of detonation formation at the heart of these remarkable astronomical events.

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Author: Energy Department Releases its Hydrogen Program Plan

Energy Department Releases its Hydrogen Program Plan

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its Hydrogen Program Plan to provide a strategic framework for the Department’s hydrogen research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities.

The DOE Hydrogen Program is a coordinated Departmental effort to advance the affordable production, transport, storage, and use of hydrogen across different sectors of the economy.  The Plan involves participation from the Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fossil Energy (FE), Nuclear Energy, Electricity, Science, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.

“Hydrogen has the potential to integrate our nation’s energy resources. To fully recognize hydrogen’s potential across the economy, we need to see a significant increase in hydrogen supply and demand, and we need to lower costs,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “EERE is excited by the Department-wide efforts and collaborations outlined in this Plan to cement hydrogen’s place among our energy options.”

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Author: International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy – Student Infographic Challenge 2020

Dear students,

On behalf of the UConn Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) and in preparation for the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day (08/10), we invite you to submit your Infographic designs about hydrogen and fuel cells. C2E2 is encouraging you to participate in this challenge, and offering prizes to winning entities (including cash and travel support) and technical support in preparation of the designs. Please, submit them to both to for IPHE competition and to Only the designs submitted to both C2E2 and IPHE are eligible for the C2E2 awards. Please see the attached flyer for more details. Deadline – Oct 8, 2020.  Learn more.

The Challenge: Are you a student looking to learn more about hydrogen and fuel cells? IPHE wants to hear from you! Don’t miss out on this chance to apply your research and creative design skills to learn more about the world of hydrogen and win a cash prize.

As part of the IPHE Student Infographic Challenge, participants will research, interpret, and create a succinct, engaging infographic about a topic related to hydrogen and fuel cells. Through this challenge, students gain foundational knowledge about the field of hydrogen and fuel cells, develop research and design skills, and explore their creativity. This challenge provides a great opportunity to learn about this important field of energy research in a fun, engaging way. It also offers you the chance to expand your portfolio, connect with other students and professionals, and work alongside the next generation of hydrogen and fuel cell advocates, scientists, and engineers.

Who Can Enter: Secondary- (ages ~13 to 18) and university-level students from IPHE member countries are eligible to enter. Each pool of applicants will be judged separately. Students may work alone or in groups of 2-4.

Submission Details: Infographics are an important tool for delivering information in a quick, accessible, and visually appealing format for all audiences. The combination of text and visuals can serve a variety of purposes, from constructing an engaging narrative to expressing dense or technical information in a concise, straightforward way.

Students will research and design an infographic that is suitable for a public audience and is related to hydrogen and fuel cells in some way. Some possible topic areas include:

  • Basics of hydrogen and fuel cells
  • International status of hydrogen & fuel cells
  • Status of hydrogen & fuel cells within student’s or team’s home country
  • Hydrogen and fuel cell applications
  • Current field research
  • History of fuel cell technology development
  • Hydrogen safety

How to Submit: Participants will email their completed infographics to and with the subject line “IPHE Infographic Challenge Submission.” Your infographic should be in English, submitted as a high-resolution PNG, PDF or JPEG file and labeled as follows: “Country name_institutionname_last name.” Please note that submitting a version of the infographic in your native language is optional and will not impact judging or selection decisions.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Thank you and we look forward to your submissions!!!

Jasna Jankovic, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Materials Science and Engineering Department
University of Connecticut
O: (860) 486-6496
M: (860) 617-8798

Author: UConn Researchers Receive Patent for Diabetes-Sensing Breathalyzer

UConn researcher and vice president for researcher, Radenka Maric, and a former graduate student Rishabh Jain were recently issued a patent for a breath sensor able to detect chemical compounds that are markers for various chronic diseases.

Human breath is primarily composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor. But there are traces of more than 200 other chemicals that are the product of the body’s metabolism. Even minute deviations from normal concentrations of these chemicals are often biomarkers for the onset of disease. These compounds can indicate the presence of diabetes, liver diseases, breast cancer, schizophrenia, cystic fibrosis, and many other diseases.

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Author: UConn and Technion Collaborate on the Development of Next Generation Fuel Cells

Radenka Maric, UConn’s vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship, Dario Dekel from Technion’s Chemical Engineering Department and S. Pamir Alpay, UConn’s associate dean for research and industrial partnerships are working on advanced concepts that will provide novel solutions in catalysis and energy research.

UConn and Technion have had a relationship for two years under the UConn-Technion Energy Collaboration Initiative, which enables the exchange of faculty and students between the two schools for presentations and collaboration on research. The partnership was facilitated by UConn’s Office of Global Affairs.

This initiative became the base for UConn and Technion to collaborate on several topics associated with the development of new materials and approaches to reduce precious metal content in anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs). These cells are remarkably efficient, but they are also expensive to manufacture right now.

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Author: City Council And UConn Lend A Hand To West Haven Community House

WEST HAVEN, CT — Members of the West Haven City Council this week presented West Haven Community House (WHCH) Executive Director, Patricia Stevens, and Board of Directors President, William Heffernan III, “UConn Nation” hand sanitizers for the nonprofit organization’s Community Connections program.

The city’s donation was made possible by University of Connecticut doctoral students and Councilman Barry Lee Cohen, R-10, on behalf of the Connecticut Center for Applied Separations Technologies (CAST) and the UConn Department of Chemical Engineering. Joining Cohen for the presentation was fellow WHCH Board of Directors member, Councilwoman Elizabeth Johnston, D-3.

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Author: UConn Research Team Developing Emergency Ventilator Prototype

Jeffrey McCutcheon, the Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research and Education at UConn, is usually busy this time of year studying subjects like membrane separations and filtration. But like many, the director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation, located in the Innovation Partnership Building at UConn Tech Park, has seen the focus of his work change with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, McCutcheon is leading a team that is developing a prototype of an emergency ventilator that could be produced by Connecticut manufacturers to help ease the anticipated shortage of the devices as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the state.

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Author: Bridging the Gap Between Bio-oil and Jet Fuel

Liquid fuels derived from biomass (biofuels) have the potential to generate less greenhouse gas emissions than that derived from fossil fuels. Identifying effective methods of production and utilization of products can make biofuels even greenhouse gas neutral.  Learn more about Associate Professor Julia Valla’s research in removing Sulphur from gasoline and diesel to make fuels cleaner for today and the future.

Author: UConn’s Own Radenka Maric Selected as a 2019 NAI Fellow

Farmington, CT—Radenka Maric of UConn has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced on December 3, 2019.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, over $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

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