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Mike Arnold. Photo by David Nevala

November 06, 2014

When Mike Arnold thinks about solar energy, he thinks big, as in the “more than one-hundred-million-billion watts of sunlight that the Earth continuously bathes in.” But he also thinks very, very small, exploring how a one-billionth-of-a-meter thick carbon-based nanomaterial could dramatically reduce the price of producing electricity with solar cells.

Michael Corradini

November 05, 2014

CONTACT: Joshua Morby, (414) 791-9120, jmorby@m-werc.org

MADISON – The Mid-west Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) board of directors appointed University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of engineering physics and Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) director Michael Corradini chairman during their October meeting. Corradini succeeds MaryAnn Wright of Johnson Controls as chair.

Chemistry post-doctoral fellow Alireza Rahimi holds vials of chemicals derived from lignin, the molecule that gives wood its strength. Rahimi and senior author Shannon Stahl, an expert in green chemistry, have created a two-step process for converting lignin into biofuel and useful molecules. Their paper in Nature, published 11/2, details a new, two-step method for decomposing lignin that avoids high pressure and temperature. Credit: David Tenenbaum, University Communications

November 03, 2014

Chemistry post-doctoral fellow Alireza Rahimi holds vials of chemicals derived from lignin, the molecule that gives wood its strength. Rahimi and senior author Shannon Stahl, an expert in green chemistry, have created a two-step process for converting lignin into biofuel and useful molecules. Their paper in Nature, published 11/2, details a new, two-step method for decomposing lignin that avoids high pressure and temperature. Credit: David Tenenbaum, University Communications

November 03, 2014

Scientists today disclosed a new method to convert lignin, a biomass waste product, into simple chemicals. The innovation is an important step toward replacing petroleum-based fuels and chemicals with biorenewable materials, says Shannon Stahl, an expert in "green chemistry" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

November 01, 2014

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota, and Argonne National Laboratory will explore ways to produce renewable plastic precursors and other substances from biomass with a recently announced $3.3 million grant from the United States Department of Energy.

October 27, 2014

Last year when Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest, a startup that makes smart thermostats, the press joked that the internet giant would soon be posting advertisements on people's home thermostats. But by May, Nest announced that it had used its devices to shave peak-demand energy use by a whopping 55% in its first test program. The company offers rewards to homeowners who allow the thermostat – which learns people's habits over time – to adjust indoor temperatures during the hottest days.

Mike Corradini at Energy Summit

October 24, 2014

You might say that trying to predict the future is a little like nailing Jell-O to the wall — in some cases without a hammer. That’s no less true when it comes to energy policy. Yesterday’s peak-oil, hair-on-fire energy crisis can easily morph into today’s fracking-fueled, cheap-gas energy surge.

But that doesn’t mean our world doesn’t face some keen energy-related challenges, or that population trends aren’t requiring cities to rethink their approach to a sustainable energy future.

Trisha Andrew

October 17, 2014

CONTACT: Trisha Andrew, 608-262-1502, tandrew@chem.wisc.edu

Trisha Andrew, a University of Wisconsin-Madison assistant professor of chemistry, is one of 18 early career scientists from around the country named a Packard Fellow for Science and Engineering.

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