Need a financial boost from the government? Well, if you hit on advancements that can be categorized as “ambitious research projects that could fundamentally change the way the country uses and produces energy,” and if you’ve accomplished as much as Berkeley has accomplished, maybe Uncle Sam will give you $8.6 million. Maybe.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory the $8.6 million in Recovery Act funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). According to Berkeley Lab, the funding will be split between four different projects: “one that will speed the development of materials that can absorb carbon dioxide emitted from power plants, another that will use a common soil bacterium to produce biofuels, and two that are aimed at developing new high-energy batteries for powering electric vehicles.”
Each of the four projects hopes to meet a critical need. The carbon capture project aims to develop new materials able to absorb carbon dioxide, which will prevent it from entering the atmosphere. The biofuels project is intended to replace petroleum fuels with fuels derived from solar energy stored in plant biomass. Finally, the two battery projects are focused on developing high-energy, affordable lithium ion batteries via a revolutionary manufacturing process, and high-energy lithium-sulfur batteries for electric vehicles.