Princeton University will be home to a new $20 million energy research center for combustion science, as part of a federal initiative to spur discoveries that lay the groundwork for an economy based on clean replacements for fossil fuels.
The American Chemical Society has selected chemical engineering graduate student M. Barclay Satterfield to receive a Science Policy Fellowship. The highly selective fellowship sponsors an accomplished scientist or engineer to work as a staff member in the society's Office of Legislative and Government Affairs.
All of the fuel cells developed in Jay Benziger's lab run on hydrogen, but much of his research is powered by the chemical engineering professor's collaborations with undergraduates.
Fuel cell batteries might power clean cars of the future, but for now they are found in niche applications such as spacecraft, where cost is no object. "We are trying to figure out how you could build fuel cells that operate more simply and are cheaper to produce so that they would be acceptable in a consumer market," said Princeton professor of chemical engineering Jay Benziger.
When Princeton University engineers want to increase the power output of their new fuel cell, they just give it a little more gas -- hydrogen gas, to be exact. Though the simple control mechanism was previously thought impossible, Jay Benziger, a professor of chemical engineering, and Claire Woo, who graduated in 2006, showed it can work.