We once again invited researchers, scientists, organizations and companies to display an energy-related poster during the 8th Annual 21st Century Energy Transition Symposium, in Denver, CO

The four co-hosts of the symposium invited academic faculty, staff, researchers, scientists and students to submit a poster.  In addition we  invited companies and organizations to submit an energy-related poster.  The poster topic could involve energy, water, sustainability, oil and gas, geothermal, air, transmission, utilities, cybersecurity, biofuels, social/behavioral, or natural gas-related research or projects.  The poster was entered at the 8th annual Symposium free of charge (participant must be registered for symposium).  This year we encouraged posters related to food/energy/water nexus.

Cost:  Every energy-related poster entrant must pay relative registration fee.  There is no cost to display a poster.

Date: April 1-2, 2019
Location:  Grand Hyatt, 1750 Welton Street, Denver, CO

Submission Details:

  • Colorado researchers, companies and organizations actively engaged in any energy-related work wer invited to display their poster during the entire 1.5 day “21st Century Energy Transition Symposium 2019”. The poster content could include water, air, land use, biofuels, oil/gas, geothermal, renewable energy, transmission, electric grid, cybersecurity, clean transportation, social and behavioral sciences and other related topics.  We also encouraged topics on food/energy/water/health/environment nexus.
  • A public reception was held on April 1, 2019 at the symposium from 5:30-6:15pm MT (complimentary appetizers served, cash bar). Since 2011 when Colorado State University hosted this symposium, networking opportunities like this have resulted in small to large grants and projects for various applied research projects between faculty, industry, environmental groups and other organizations.
  • We invited posters conveying research that is underway, research just starting, a special or senior class project, an outreach activity or whatever the researcher wants to present relevant to the energy industry, natural gas industry, renewable energy, transmission, utilities and respective supply chains.  Industry professionals in these topics were encouraged to submit a poster.  Topics in Food/energy/water/health/environment research can be at any stage.
  • All had to bring posters to the Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver (second floor) by 8:30am MT on April 1. They removed their poster after 12:30pm MT on April 2, 2019.
  • Poster display — The posters was displayed on the solid poster display supplied by the event.  Solid poster boards were placed on six foot tables whereby viewers can move from one poster to another.
  • Poster size — Not larger than 22″ x 28″

Submitting a research poster:

Information collected:

  1. Full name, title, organization, phone number
  2. Title of project
  3. Project participants
  4. Project description (no more than 250 words)


2019 Research Posters Submitted

Poster #1

Name: Jing Wang, PhD student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Phone: 305-298-5220  Jing.Wang@colorado.edu

Project: NSF CRISP Type 1/Collaborative Research: A Human-Centered Computational Framework for Urban and Community Design of Resilient Coastal Cities (Award #1638336)

Participants: University of Colorado Boulder (Jing Wang, Wangda Zuo), University of Miami (Landolf Rhode-Barbarigoes, Sonia Chao), Virginia Tech (Walid Saad)

Project description: The goal of this research is to create new paradigms for the resilient design of urban communities, and uniquely tailored toward the design of coastal cities, thus contributing to NSF’s science and engineering mission. By bringing together an interdisciplinary set of collaborators from engineering, architecture, and social sciences, this research yields several key innovations: (1) a holistic human-centered computational framework for the design of resilient cities; (2) identification of key typologies, morphologies and their interdependencies by analyzing the urban design and its infrastructure networks; (3) an innovative flexible modeling and computational framework that integrate socioeconomic characteristics for simulation and resilience optimization (damage tolerance) of the critical infrastructure; (4) a novel optimization framework that will facilitate making damage tolerance decisions that can achieve anticipatory resilience in face of disaster uncertainty; (5) new identified interdependences, trends, and typologies of socioeconomic system of highly urbanized coastal communities based on the cities of Miami and Miami Beach in Florida.

In summary, this research will lay the scientific foundation for envisioning and redesigning resilient coastal cities making them ready to meet anticipated future challenges.  Lab website: http://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs

Poster #2

Name:  Yunyang Ye, PhD Student, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Colorado Boulder, 305-978-0437, Yunyang.Ye@colorado.edu

Project Participants:  Wangda Zuo: Associate Professor, Lewis-Worcester Faculty Fellow (University of Colorado Boulder) Gang Wang: Assistant Professor (University of Miami)

Project Title:  Large Scale Energy Modeling for Building Energy Rating Standard

Project Description:  Commercial buildings accounts for 20% of the primary energy in the US and there is a great potential to save energy in existing US commercial buildings. To promote energy saving of US commercial buildings, ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) rating standard provides a method to evaluate the energy performance of commercial buildings. ASHRAE bEQ system consists of two sections, As Designed rating and In Operation rating. To support the rating standard, this poster displays our research to perform large scale energy analysis and big data analytics for commercial buildings. The workflow of the research contains four steps: 1) identify possible sensitive model inputs, 2) generate models, 3) conduct large-scale simulation, 4) conduct data analysis, and 5) generate the results. The existing outcomes show that we have already identified and modeled 18 main commercial building types which represent for 85% of floor space, developed the workflow to conduct large scale simulation and data analytics, and conducted the large-scale building energy simulation.  Website: https://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs/

Poster #3

Name:  Kathryn Hinkelman, PhD Student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, (303) 917-2761, Kathryn.Hinkelman@colorado.edu

Project Participants: Xing Lu (CU Boulder), Wangda Zuo (CU Boulder), Yangyang Fu (CU Boulder), Jing Wang (CU Boulder), Yingchen Zhang (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Title of Project: Multi-domain Modeling Framework for Future Smart and Connected Communities

Project Description: Infrastructure in future smart and connected communities (SCCs) is envisioned as interconnected public services, including energy, transportation, and communication systems. While the inherent interdependencies among these critical systems may significantly influence both the design and operation of each system, few prior studies have quantified the potential impacts of these interdependencies. The objective of this work is to develop an open-source, integrated modeling framework for planning, deploying, and operating future communities that are sustainable (zero energy), connected (zero outage and zero congestion), and smart (self-organizing operation). We propose a novel multi-level, multi-layer, multi-agent approach to enable flexible modeling of interconnected infrastructure systems. Various component and system-level models for energy, transportation, and communication systems are designed and implemented using Modelica, an equation-based, object-oriented modeling language. To evaluate the interdependencies and quantify the impacts of integrated modeling, three case studies of gradually increasing complexity are presented (energy, energy + transportation, energy + transportation + communication). Results indicate that the average road velocity during the morning commute decreases 10.5% when the communication system is considered. Similarly, when communication and transportation systems are considered, the power draw from the grid decreases 0.33% on average, with the largest decrease of 7% occurring during the morning commute. These results suggest a need for integrated modeling when designing and operating future SCCs. Furthermore, the proposed modeling framework has the potential to be extended for additional applications, including dynamic modeling and optimization, resilience analysis, and integrated decision making in future connected communities.

Poster #4

Dr. Hannah Miller, Postdoctoral Researcher, Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, 630.618.6454, Hannah.Miller2@colostate.edu

Title of project: Irrigation with Produced Water: Impact on Crop and Soil Health

Project participants: Dr. Thomas Borch, Dr. Jens Blotevogel, Dr. Jim Ippolito, Dr. Kelly Wrighton, Kandis Diaz, Dustin Diaz, Rebecca Daly, Hannah Hare, Merritt Logan

Project description:  Oil and gas wastewater, known as produced water (PW), has the potential to be beneficially reused for agricultural irrigation. However, PW can be saline and may contain harmful contaminant concentrations. We irrigated wheat with minimally treated PW to investigate its effects on soil health, wheat growth, and soil microbiome to assess its viability for crop irrigation.  We grew wheat in a sandy loam soil matrix in a greenhouse. The irrigation treatments included control irrigation water, 1% and 5% PW dilutions, and a salt water control with equivalent salinity to the 5% PW dilution. During wheat growth, we measured plant physiological parameters, soil electrical conductivity, chlorophyll fluorescence, and collected soil samples for 16S rRNA soil microbial community analysis. Final soil quality parameters were measured after harvest, including: bulk density, microbial biomass, potential mineralizable nitrogen, soil potassium and phosphorus, and total organic carbon and nitrogen. PW treatments did not alter wheat height and chlorophyll measurements; however, both the salinity control and 5% PW treatment had reduced yields as compared to the control. Measures of microbial soil activity were lower in 5% PW treatments as compared to all other treatments. Soil concentrations of phosphorus, potassium, and inorganic carbon were not significantly affected by PW irrigation. In conclusion, watering crops with minimally treated dilutions of PW may result in yield decreases and negatively affect soil health parameters but is dependent on the PW composition. Future large-scale field studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of PW on different soil types and crops.

Poster #5

Name: Matt Lucas, Associate Director for Carbontech, Carbon180, 703-201-5542, matt@carbon180.org

Title of project:  Carbontech Labs: Startup Accelerator and Investment Fund Providing Lab-to-Market Support for Innovators Converting Carbon Waste into Value

Project description: Carbontech Labs is the world’s first and only accelerator focused on the $1 trillion-dollar carbontech market opportunity. The program provides support to early-stage companies that show scalable technical promise and potential investment readiness with a valuable product-market fit. Startup teams continue to work where they already are, with in-person convenings for networking and education throughout the year. Carbontech Labs complements existing teams’ capabilities with access to its vetted entrepreneurs-in-residence, technical test sites, investment advisory council, and its extensive network of expert advisors. It supplements existing teams’ pre-seed funding with non-dilutive grants until they are ready to accept dilutive capital investments from its for-profit sidecar fund. Carbontech Labs’ ultimate goal is to take viable carbontech businesses from lab to Series A, nurturing this nascent yet critical double-bottom-line sector. Carbontech Labs is currently finalizing funding for its first cohort of companies to begin in Q2 2019. The accelerator will provide tailored, à la carte services to systematically de-risk  startups’ business and technology through four phases of programming, three checkpoints, and three funding opportunities

Poster #6

Name:  Amanda Shores, Post Doctoral Scholar, Colorado State University, 408-391-0062

Title: The state of produced water generation and risk for groundwater contamination in Weld County, Colorado.

Participants: Amanda Shores and Melinda Laituri

Description: Natural gas and oil extraction, while meeting much of our current energy demand, also generates large volumes of waste water (“produced water”) that creates risks for groundwater contamination when spilled. Weld County, Colorado, where the majority of extraction occurs in Colorado, was used as a case study to understand how groundwater impacts were related to spill details including volumes spilled, area impacted, and depth to groundwater. Publically available produced water production and spill data were analyzed to determine if improvements could be made to reduce the water intensity of oil and gas drilling. The depth to groundwater significantly affected the likelihood of groundwater contamination at spill sites. Since spills often occur at oil and gas well pads, extraction site selection should preclude those areas that have shallow groundwater. Evaluation of produced water generation and produced water spilled reveal that although larger-scale operations did generate less relative produced water per energy generated, the total volume of produced water spilled by an operator was linearly correlated with the scale of the operation. These results suggest that employing fewer, large-scale operators would help to reduce the overall volume of water generated but not the overall volume spilled. The results from this research have important regulation and policy implications that can help mitigate the increased threat of groundwater contamination from produced water spills.

Poster #7

Name: Xu Han, PhD student in Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Phone: 305-310-6466, Xu.Han-2@colorado.edu

Project: Improving Data Center Energy Efficiency through End-to-End Cooling Modeling and Optimization (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy, Award Number: DE-EE0007688)

Participants: University of Colorado Boulder (Xu Han, Wangda Zuo, Yangyang Fu), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Michael Wetter), Schneider Electric (Wei Tian, Jim VanGilder)

Project description:  Data centers in the US consume about 2% of the nation’s electricity and approximately half of that is used for data center cooling. To improve energy efficiency of the cooling system in data centers, many researches have been focusing on either the cooling system or the airflow management in the data center rooms. The separation of cooling system and airflow management leads to local optimum design and operation. The integration of the cooling system operation and airflow management will provide a holistic solution to the optimal operation of the data centers.  The goal is to develop and demonstrate an open-source, modular, free software which provides practical, end-to-end modeling and optimization for data center cooling for use by data center designers, service consultants and facility managers, as well as for integration by data center management software companies. The tool box includes three features: (1) Feature 1: optimization of cooling system operation; (2) Feature 2: optimization of airflow management; (3) Feature 3: simultaneous optimization of airflow management and cooling systems. We have developed the modeling packages of the cooling system and airflow management of data centers, which have been publicly released. Currently, we are working on integrated modeling of the cooling system and airflow management to conduct a holistic solution to the optimal operation of the data centers.  Lab website: http://www.colorado.edu/lab/sbs

Poster #8

Name: Selena Gerace, Outreach Coordinator, University of Wyoming, 307-766-5634, sgerace@uwyo.edu

Title of project: Water Agriculture Food Energy Research Nexus (WAFERx)

Project Participants (PI and co-PIs): Paul Story (Montana State University), Selena Ahmed (Montana State University), David Swanson (University of South Dakota), Meghann Jarchow (University of South Dakota), Ben Rashford (University of Wyoming)

Project Description: The Water Agriculture Food Energy Research Nexus (WAFERx) is a research collaborative studying the implications of adopting Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) as a form of climate change mitigation.  BECCS reduces atmospheric CO2 first through the production of bioenergy crops, which absorb CO2 from the air during photosynthesis. The CO2 emitted when these crops are converted into energy is then captured and injected into geologic formations underground for permanent storage. This results in what is referred to as ‘negative emissions’—meaning more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere than is released.  BECCS, while potentially reducing atmospheric CO2, would also require transformations in agriculture, land-use, and energy production systems, creating trade-offs among food, water, energy, biodiversity, and economic opportunities. For example, bioenergy crops could displace food crops, threatening local food security. CCS practices and bioenergy production could require changes in water use, affecting water quality and quantity. Grasslands, wetlands, and forests could be converted to intensive bioenergy crops, altering wildlife habitat and biodiversity. These land-use conversions could also cause the release of large amounts of CO2 currently stored in native ecosystems, incurring a carbon debt so large it could take generations for BECCS to repay it. Transitions from fossil fuels to bioenergy industries could impact employment opportunities and local and state tax revenue, affecting regional economic development. The WAFERx team is evaluating the implications of these potential trade-offs for the local people, communities, cultures, and ecosystems of the Upper Missouri River Basin.  WAFERx Outreach Resourceshttps://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-P4rOj_uukNkmILJT7ZBnmmTRaLvSVA6?ogsrc=32

Poster #9

Name: Molly McLaughlin, PhD Candidate, Colorado State University, Phone number: (404)729-9312, mollymcl@rams.colostate.edu

Project Title:  Assessment of Water Quality, Toxicity and Treatment Strategies Downstream of NPDES Oil and Gas Produced Water Discharges

Project Participants:  McLaughlin, M.1; Borch, T.1,2; Argueso, J.L.3; Blotevogel, J.1

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States; 2Department of Chemistry and Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States;   3Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523, United States

Project Description:  Produced water (PW) is the largest waste stream associated with oil and gas operations. This complex fluid contains petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, salts, naturally occurring radioactive (NORMs) and any remaining drilling, stimulation or well maintenance chemicals, as well as their potential transformation products. In the United States, west of the 98th meridian, the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) exemption allows release of PW for agricultural beneficial reuse. Contents and concentrations of chemicals in PW vary by location and time. As a result, treatment strategies vary, and PW NPDES releases are poorly characterized.  The goal of this study is to characterize potential environmental impacts and toxicity of PW discharges on downstream water quality. Water samples were collected from three NPDES PW discharges and surrounding watersheds in a Wyoming oil field. Engineered wetlands were located downstream of each discharge. Thus, the efficiency of using wetlands for onsite treatment of PW was also assessed. PW discharge streams were characterized using chemical analyses and toxicological bioassays. Contaminants including benzene, NORMS and surfactants were identified at elevated concentrations at the NPDES discharges. Concentrations of these chemicals generally decreased with increasing distance from the discharge. Hydrophilic compounds, including surfactants, were significantly attenuated in the wetlands. Mutation bioassays revealed higher chronic toxicity at the discharge than implied by chemical analysis, showing that bioassays are a useful tool for assessing complex water quality. The results of this study can be used to help industry and regulators effectively and safely manage PW discharges for agricultural beneficial reuse.

Poster #10

 Name:  Hailey M. Summers, Graduate Research Assistant, Colorado State University, 907.723.5511, Hailey.Summers@colostate.edu

Project Title:  Economic and Environmental Impact Assessments of Drought-Tolerant Crops in the American Southwest

Project Participants:  Hailey M. Summers, Sproul, E., Johnson, J., Jason C. Quinn

Project Description:  Guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba L.) and Guayule (Parthenium argentatum) are drought-tolerant crops that produce high-valued products, guar gum and rubber, respectively. Guar gum demand in the last decade has exponentially increased due to its use in fracking of shale oil and gas. Guayule has recently gained interest as a replacement for rubber in tire manufacturing. Current demand for both crops is primarily met through costly U.S. import. However, minimal work assessing the economic and environmental feasibility of domestic production of guar gum and rubber has been performed. The approach to quantifying economic and environmental impacts for Guar and Guayule has been divided into two steps. First, detailed process models capturing mass and energy requirements for domestic production of guar gum and rubber were developed. Second, economic and environmental data associated with the mass and energy requirements was integrated to perform techno-economic and life cycle impact assessments. Preliminary assessment results were focused on determining areas of high cost and large environmental impact from each crop. It was determined that irrigation and downstream process heating, through natural gas, have a large impact on both economics and the environment for both crops. Additional significant areas of impact were observed from downstream processing stages, namely spray drying for guar gum and solvent extraction for Guayule. Ongoing work is focused on expanding modeling scope, such as including use and end-of-life phases as well as co-products, to perform a complete life cycle assessment. Final assessment results will be compared to current crops cultivated in the American Southwest.

Poster #11

Name:  Kaitlyn Garifi, PhD Student in Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder  Kaitlyn.Garifi@colorado.edu

Project Title:  Stochastic Home Energy Management Systems with Varying Controllable Resources

Project Participants: Kaitlyn Garifi, Kyri Baker (University of Colorado Boulder), Dane Christensen (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Behrouz Touri (University of California San Diego)

Project Description:  This project studies the performance of a model predictive control (MPC) algorithm in a home energy management system (HEMS) as the set of controllable resources varies and under both a constant and a time-of-use (TOU) electricity price structure. The set of controllable resources includes residentially-owned photovoltaic (PV) panels, a home battery system (HBS), an electric vehicle (EV), and a home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The HEMS optimally schedules the set of controllable resources given user preferences such as indoor thermal comfort and electricity cost sensitivity. The home energy management system is built on a chance constrained, MPC-based algorithm, where the chance constraint ensures the indoor thermal comfort is satisfied with a high probability given uncertainty in the outdoor temperature and solar irradiance forecasts. Simulation results for varying sets of controllable resources under two different electricity price structures demonstrate the variation in the HEMS control with respect to HBS operation, electricity cost, and grid power usage.

Poster #12

Name: Andrew P. Proudian, Ph.D. Candidate in Applied Physics, Colorado School of Mines, (650) 207-2649, aproudia@mines.edu

Project Title: Atom Probe Tomography of Organic Semiconducting Systems

Project Participants: Andrew P. Proudian, Matthew B. Jaskot, David R. Diercks, Brian P. Gorman, Jeramy D. Zimmerman

Project Description: Modern electronics now include a wide variety of organic devices, such as organic photovoltaics (OPVs), organic thin film transistors (OTFTs), and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Compared to their inorganic counterparts, organic electronic devices enjoy a number of advantages, including low-cost room-temperature deposition, easy patterning at relevant length scales (e.g. display pixels), mechanical flexibility, and application-specific tunability. However, to fully realize these advantages requires more detailed knowledge of the structure-property relationships of these devices. We show that atom probe tomography (APT) can have a mass resolution of < 1 Da, spatial resolution of ~0.3 nm in z and ~1 nm in x-y, and an analytic sensitivity of ~50 ppm for these materials with no evidence of molecular fragmentation. This capability enables new insights into structure-property relationships at the nanoscale—both at interfaces and in the bulk— which we demonstrate in an OPV and an OLED system. The information APT provides can help drive forward the development and deployment of molecular organic electronics and help make organic semiconductors the materials of choice for creating large-scale, high-versatility, and low-cost electronics.

Poster #13

Name:  Peter Chen, (303) 505-6670, pchen@rams.colostate.edu

Project Title:  Alkaliphilic algae and cyanobacteria as a carbon capture method

Project Participants:  Peter Chen1, Hannah Mendel1, and Jason C. Quinn1  1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Biofuels are an emerging renewable resource that can help to combat the effects of climate change by leveraging photosynthesis to capture CO2 as stored energy. Algae and cyanobacteria hold great potential as biofuel feedstocks due to certain unique advantages, such as high biomass productivity, utility of process waste streams, and the ability to grow on non-arable land. However, the economic viability of algal and cyanobacterial biofuels is heavily tied to biomass productivity, which is greatly limited by the rate of CO2 uptake. Atmospheric CO2 dissolution in water is limited by mass transfer in typical cultivation conditions. The current state of technology generally assumes that concentrated CO2 is delivered to cultivation facilities from an external source. Infrastructure for CO2 delivery contributes up to 19% of the cost of biomass. Increasing water alkalinity shifts carbonic acid equilibrium, which promotes a higher rate of atmospheric CO2 dissolution. Therefore, algal or cyanobacterial strains that thrive in alkaliphilic conditions may be able to directly capture atmospheric CO2 and circumvent the need for CO2 delivery to large-scale cultivation facilities, which would markedly improve the economic viability of algal and cyanobacterial biofuels. Work is currently underway to characterize the alkaliphilic cyanobacterial strain Cyanobacterium sp. SSL-1, which was collected from a natural soda lake (Soap Lake, WA) and isolated at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Sequim, WA). Future work will use collected data to assess the economic and sustainability impacts of alkaliphilic algae and cyanobacteria with respect to the current state of technology.

Poster #14

Full name: Nora Buggy, Organization: Colorado School of Mines, Phone: 9734643123 nbuggy@mymail.mines.edu

Title of Project: Tuning Polymer Electrolytes for Electrochemical Applications

Project participants: Nora Buggy, Ivy Wu, Ashutosh Divekar, Mei-Chen Kuo, Dr. Andrew Herring*

Project Description:   The Herring Lab at the Colorado School of Mines has developed exceptional materials that can be tuned for any electrochemical application, including water desalination, fuel cells, redox flow batteries, and electrolysis, to name a few. We study both proton exchange membranes and anion exchange membranes, and tune them for specific applications while studying the fundamental science behind the relationship between various chemistries, properties, and resulting performance.

Poster #15

Name: Ashutosh Divekar, PhD Candidate, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Contact no: +1-720-717-8735  agdivekar@mymail.mines.edu

Title of Project: Investigating Practicality of using Anion exchange membrane fuel cell technology for vehicular applications

Project Participants: Colorado School of Mines (Andrew M. Herring), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Bryan S. Pivovar), Argonne National Laboratory (Soenke Seifert)

Project Description:  Low temperature fuel cells are renewable energy technology where a fuel gets electro-chemically oxidized to form electricity without combustion. The cell consists of 2 compartments: Anode(fuel) and cathode (O2 from Air) which are separated by a membrane. Recently, proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology has been commercialized for vehicular applications. Anion exchange membrane is an upcoming technology for electro-chemical applications. Research on Anion exchange membranes picked up recently and it has potential advantages over proton-exchange membranes like it can be operated with non-precious metal catalyst that would cut down the total cost of the technology. However, to commercialize it for vehicular applications it still needs to overcome the challenge of carbon-dioxide absorption from ambient air which leads to loss in cell performance. Although a lot of research has been carried out regarding novel materials there has been limited research done on this fundamental problem. Therefore, the goal of this work is to understand this problem from physio-chemical, electro-chemical, morphological properties, and in-situ cell fuel cell performance. For this study we received a perfluorinated type anion exchange membrane from National Renewable Energy Lab(NREL). The membrane samples were exposed to ambient air (400 ppm CO2) at controlled environment to study the transient change in its properties. This work will help us understand the problem and see the possibility of solving it so the technology could be used for vehicular applications.

Poster #16

Name: S M Shafiul Alam Postdoctoral Research Associate Idaho National Laboratory SMShafiul.Alam@inl.gov    214-729-5971

Title of project: Increasing Flexibility of ROR Hydro Power Plants using Virtual Reservoirs

Project participants: S M Shafiul Alam, Thomas Mosier

Project description: The U.S. power system is going through significant shifts in the value of energy and services, largely driven by increased generation in intermittent renewables wind and solar. The increased utilization of these resources is shifting power markets and requiring other participants to consider changes in their operations to meet market needs. A large stock of existing run-of-river (ROR) hydropower infrastructure in the U.S. (29% of all hydropower capacity in the U.S.) is ROR, without the flexibility to regulate operations independent of daily water flows. This research is assessing the potential of integrated hybrid energy storage systems (HESS) as virtual reservoir for ROR flexibility enhancement.  Different combinations of high energy storage (e.g., battery) and high power storage (e.g., flywheel, supercapacitor) devices with single/multi converter configuration are being considered for ROR integration. This poster summarizes the various ancillary services that are being investigated for all possible ROR integrated HESS configurations.

Poster #17

Name: Jonathan Rea, Ph.D. Candidate, Colorado School of Mines, (650) 833-8952 jrea@mymail.mines.edu

Project: Modular Solar Power Tower with Latent Heat Storage

Participants: Colorado School of Mines (Jonathan Rea, Eric Toberer), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (David Ginley, Philip Parilla, Judith Vidal, Gregory Glatzmaier, Jeff Alleman, Robert Bell), Bucknell University (Nathan Siegel)

Project Description: Concentrating solar power has the potential to provide low-cost, dispatchable electricity due to its use of inexpensive thermal energy storage. To explore this opportunity, we have designed a modular solar power tower that uses latent heat thermal energy storage and a “thermal valve” to control heat flow to a Stirling engine for dispatchable electricity generation.  This small-scale (~100 kWe) design has high optical efficiency, and its passive heat transfer via heat pipes reduces the operational costs of piping and pumps that are required in a conventional solar power tower design. Further, low capital cost allows for rapid component and system iteration. We have built two prototype thermal storage systems, and demonstrated ~20% efficiency in converting the stored latent heat in 100 kg of Al-Si to electricity at a power of 1 kW. Future development requires a solution for long-term containment of Al-Si, for which we are actively seeking funding.

Poster #18

Name: Eric B. Jones, PhD Candidate and Graduate Research Intern, Colorado School of Mines and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 303-548-9926   ebjones@mymail.mines.edu

Title of Project: Optimization of Clean Energy Systems on Near-Term Quantum Computers

Project Participants: Chin-Yao Chang, Peter Graf, Wesley Jones, and Eliot Kapit

Project Description: The optimization of a variety of resource supply and distribution systems, such as food, water, and energy, can be cast in part as combinatorial optimization problems. Such problems are notoriously hard for current classical computers to solve. Fortunately, within the next few years noisy intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computers will come online. With hundreds of physical qubits and gate depths on the order of a few hundred logical operations for gate model computers and thousands of qubits with millisecond anneal times for quantum annealers, it is expected that NISQ devices will be the first to outperform classical computers on certain computational problems in combinatorial optimization, machine learning, and materials modeling. In order to demonstrate the relevance of these machines for clean energy systems optimization, we reformulate a prototypical combinatorial optimization problem on the power grid- optimal phasor measurement unit placement- to run on a quantum computer. We show that this reformulation correctly identifies the optimal phasor measurement unit placement for a “bowtie” grid model and address implementation on near-term quantum hardware.

Poster #19

Full Name: Amy Sheflin, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher, Colorado State University, Phone: 303-378-3267  Amy.Sheflin@colostate.edu

Project participants: Colorado State University (Amy Sheflin, Jessica Prenni), University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ellen Marsh and Daniel Schachtman), Clemson University (Stephen Kresovich)

Project Title: The Metabolome of Early Season Sorghum Tissue is Predictive of End of Season Biomass

Project Description:   Biofuels are an important source of U.S. domestic renewable energy. However, an important goal of lignocellulosic feedstock production is utilization of marginal lands unsuitable for food production. Achieving this goal will require introduction of novel traits to increase resistance to stresses associated with limited water and nitrogen. Sorghum is one of the most promising lignocellulosic feedstocks due to its large genetic variation, resilience to drought and heat stress, efficient water and nitrogen usage, and high biomass. Three genotypes of sorghum were grown both with and without irrigation or nitrogen fertilization in separate Nebraska fields. In addition to end of season biomass production, metabolomics of leaf and root tissue were collected 29 days after planting using both gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Highly accurate predictive models of end of season biomass were generated using metabolomics of early season leaves. Depending on the type of abiotic stress (lack of irrigation or fertilization), the metabolome data from different instruments (LC-MS or GC-MS) was most effective for training the predictive model of the given environment.  For example, models trained on GC-MS data were most accurate for non-fertilized sorghum while models trained with LC-MS data were most accurate for non-irrigated sorghum. Evaluation of the metabolites driving these models revealed biologically relevant molecules such as asparagine and aspartic acid (non-fertilized sorghum) and waxy fatty acid derivitives (non-irrigated sorghum). Future work will translate predictive models from field to greenhouse to enable screening for abiotic stress tolerance in large sorghum accession collections.  Website: https://sorghumsysbio.org/

Poster #20

Name:  Tiezheng Tong, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, 970-491-1913  tiezheng.tong@colostate.edu

Project Participants:  Tiezheng Tong, Kenneth H. Carlson, Zuoyou Zhang, Xuewei Du, and Cristian Robbins

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 80523

Project Title:  Effective Treatment of Shale Oil and Gas Produced Water by Membrane Distillation Equipped with Pretreatment and Novel Membrane Materials

Project Descripton:  The intensive wastewater generation represents a major challenge facing shale oil and gas production. Appropriate strategies of wastewater treatment and reuse, therefore, are of essential importance to promote the sustainability and viability of unconventional energy exploitation. In this presentation, we will introduce our recently invented treatment train, which combines membrane distillation (MD) with simple pretreatment steps (i.e., precipitative softening and walnut shell filtration). With pretreatment, the water vapor flux of MD decreased by only 10% at a total water recovery of 82.5%, with boron and total BTEX concentrations in the MD distillate meeting the regulatory requirements for irrigation and typical discharge limits, respectively. The use of pretreatment also led to robust membrane reusability within three consecutive treatment cycles, with MD water flux fully restored after simple physical membrane cleaning. This integrated system is able to utilize low-grade energy (e.g., waste heat and geothermal energy) available at the oil field to produce high quality water product, thereby potentially enabling cost-effective, energy self-sustained, and on-site wastewater treatment and reuse suitable for the shale oil and gas industry. In addition, we will also describe our efforts of developing novel membrane materials that improve the efficiency and robustness of MD treatment of shale oil and gas produced water.

Poster #21

Name:  Yicong He, Graduate Research Assistant, Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, yicongh@rams.colostate.edu

Title: Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation Potential of Next-Generation Biofuels

Authors: Yicong He, Brandon King, Matson Pothier, Dr. Delphine Farmer, Dr. Robert McCormick, Dr. Matthew Thornton, and Dr. Shantanu Jathar

Description: A major anthropogenic source of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) is the transportation sector, specifically motor vehicles. There is a substantial potential to significantly reduce ambient PM levels through the development of better fuels. The Department of Energy’s Co-Optima initiative is aimed at developing more sustainable, scalable, and tailpipe-emission friendly fuels. This initiative would reduce direct tailpipe emissions of carbonaceous aerosol (i.e., black carbon and primary organic aerosol) but no consideration is given to the secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formed through the atmospheric oxidation of gas-phase hydrocarbon emissions. Hence, there is a need to quantify the SOA formed from these prospective fuels.  In this work, we performed experiments in a 10 m3 Teflon environmental chamber to measure the formation and composition of SOA from photooxidation of unburned Co-Optima fuels. We tested four of the eight biofuels identified by the Co-Optima initiative as drop-in substitutes for gasoline. The four biofuels were: Vertifuel (complex mixture of hydrocarbons with 70% aromatics), furan mixture (60:40 weight ratio of dimethylfuran and 2-methylfuran), cyclopentanone, and diisobutylene. The photooxidation experiments were initiated using the hydroxyl radical, which was formed through the photolysis of nitrous acid (HONO) and performed under atmospherically-relevant concentrations of NOx. The SOA volume concentration was tracked using a scanning mobility particle sizer and the SOA composition was captured using an aerosol mass spectrometer. Preliminary results suggest that some of the biofuels tested had much higher SOA mass yields compared to unburned gasoline. This implied that blending these biofuels with gasoline might lead to increases in ambient SOA in urban areas where motor vehicles account for a significant fraction of the fine particle pollution. Ongoing work is focused on performing additional experiments with these biofuels to allow parameterizations to be developed for air quality models and using those parameterizations in air quality models to examine the tradeoffs between lower primary emissions but higher secondary production on ambient SOA concentrations.

Poster #22

Name: Evan Reznicek, Research Assistant, Colorado School of Mines, (785) 305-0044 ereznice@mymail.mines.edu

Title:  Reversible Solid Oxide Cells for Energy Storage and Synthetic Natural Gas Production

Participants:  Evan Reznicek, Robert Braun

Project Description: Reducing electricity-related carbon emissions requires a transition to renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar, which is challenging due to their inherent intermittency. Power-to-gas is a concept that employs excess renewable electricity to produce hydrogen or synthetic natural gas for pipeline injection and transport. Integration with natural gas infrastructure allows greater flexibility than electrical energy storage technologies such as batteries or pumped hydro, and avoids the need for storage in pressure vessels or underground caverns. Reversible solid oxide cells (ReSOCs) are an electrochemical energy conversion technology that can efficiently convert water and CO2 to hydrogen and methane for storage or pipeline transport. These cells operate sequentially between power-producing fuel cell mode and fuel-producing electrolysis mode, depending on whether electricity is demanded or available. Leveraging C-O-H chemistry and operating at temperatures around 600 degrees Celcius allows the cells to be mildly exothermic, simplifying thermal management and increasing methane yield in electrolysis mode. This study proposes a 50 MWe ReSOC power-to-gas system that integrates natural gas pipeline and carbon capture and storage infrastructure for carbon utilization and synthetic natural gas production. The flexible nature of these systems allows them to provide several services including carbon utilization, renewable energy storage, and peak demand response, all without being constrained by storage capacity. We find that a system that net-meters produced syngas and operates in power-producing mode half the time can generate electricity at a levelized cost of 9.6 cents/kWh, which is competitive with current energy storage technologies and natural gas peaker plants.