The following highlights some areas of interdisciplinary excellence where Cornell faculty, staff and students have established expertise and ongoing interests that complement practitioner organization activities and advocacy in the field of Energy Research. Collaboration between Land Grant and endowed colleges, as well as extensive networking among numerous departments have fueled efforts in the interconnected and interdependent themes of energy, environment, and economic development.
Key Campus Partners:
Engineering Energy Studies *, Energy Transitions Group, Cornell Center for Materials Research, Energy Materials Center at Cornell (EMC2), Graduate Education in Earth-Energy Systems, KAUST Cornell Center for Energy and Sustainability, Northeast Sun Grant Initiative
More details can be obtained from the listed individuals, a subset of those engaged, or by contacting Jeff Tester, ACSF's Associate Director for Energy Programs. This list of topics will grow over time, so we hope you will come back often.
(back to ACSF Research)
Topics: Biofuels | Carbon Footprint | Climate Change | Combustion Engineering | Computation and Modeling
Ecotecture | Electric Infrastructure | Energy Storage - Batteries | Fossil Fuels | Fuel Cells | Geothermal
Solar Cells | Wind and Water
Cornell researchers work to develop sustainable technology for bio-based energy and feedstock production. Cornell researchers are currently addressing the physical, chemical and biological barriers to liberating sugars from bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, miscanthus, other perennial grasses and woody biomass, and converting these sugars into fuel or other products. The integration of industrial and environmental biotechnology through broad-ranging projects assists in the discovery of both economically and ecologically advantageous biotechnological energy solutions.
(Beth Ahner, Shorna Broussard Allred, Daniel Aneshansley, Largus Angenent, Brad Anton, Antonio Bento, Gary Bergstrom, Richard Boisvert, John Brady, Harold Craighead, Harry DeGorter, Betta Fisher, Donna Gibson, Brent Gloy, Gary Goff, Jim Gossett, Fred Gouldin, Nelson Hairston, Maureen Hanson, Susan Henry, Mike Hoffman, Bob Howarth, David Just, Steve Kresovich, Johannes Lehman, Drew Lewis, Hilary Mayton, Philip McMichael, David Pimentel, Ruth Richardson, Ron Rohrbaugh, Joss Rose, Todd Schmit, Norm Scott, Larry Smart, Roger Spanswick, Rich Stedman, Loren Tauer, Alan Taylor, Jeff Tester, Donald Viands, Larry Walker, David Weinstein, David Wilson, Steven Wolf, Peter Woodbury)
Research across Cornell probes the conservation alternatives that will reduce carbon emissions from fossil-fuel-based technologies, and the remediation opportunities possible by either removing CO2 from combustion emissions and/or from managing the ecosystem. Efficient lighting, building design, and community planning are just some of the categories of active research.
(George Malliaras, Hector Abruna, Mike Spencer, Ann Forsyth, Kevin Pratt, Louis Derry, Jason Phips Morgan, Terry Jordan, Larry Brown, Elizabeth Fisher, Andrew Hunter, Alfred Center, Christie Goodale, Johannes Lehmann, Jerome Cherney, Tim Fahey, David Weinstein, Paulette Clancy, Mike Hoffmann)
Cornell scientists study the interactions between processes important for regional and local climate change. Work at Cornell has focused on climate change impacts on vegetation, water resources and city and regional planning. Given the economic costs and benefits of different energy choices, balanced by the environmental and climate impacts, Cornell scholars focus on understanding optimal strategies of energies as we move into the future.
(Lance Collins, H. Oliver Gao, Peter Hess, Don Koch, Michal Louge, Natalie Mahowald, Zellman Warhaft, Susan Riha, Art DeGaetano, Christine Goodale, D.P. Loucks, Rebecca Schneider, J.R. Stedinger, M. Todd Walker, Dan Wilks, David Wolfe, Antonio Bento, Ben Ho, Timothy Mount, Gregory Poe, K. Max Zhang)
The dual challenges of energy and climate change highlight the need for improved combustion technology. Currently, Cornell Faculty are focusing on the study of combustion processes that facilitate carbon capture, the development of computational simulation and modeling methodologies for efficient combustion processes of different fuels, the formation of soot and pollutants and their evolution in the atmosphere, the incineration of waste, and the monitoring and control of combustion processes.
(Tom Avedisian, David Caughey, Lance Collins, Terry Cool, Betta Fisher, Fred Gouldin, Steve Pope, Max Zhang)
Cornell has a new program centered around the computation and modeling of sustainable energy systems. This large group reflects the efforts of a multidisciplinary team from nine departments in three colleges to draw upon strength in algorithm development and in modeling and simulation of climate, water, and fossil fuel systems.
(A. Brad Anton, Tomas Arias, Garnet Chan, Paulette Clancy, Lance Collins, Fernando Escobedo, H. Oliver Gao, Richard Hennig, Peter Hess, Roald Hoffmann, Andrew Hunter, Don L. Koch, Natalie Mahowald, Timothy Mount, Steve Pope, J. Phipps Morgan, Christine Shoemaker, Cyrus Umrigar, Jeff Varner, K. Max Zhang)
Conservation of energy is one of the most important aspects to consider in developing sustainable buildings. Cornell faculty and students the College of Human Ecology are exploring architectural designs with passive solar heating, building insulation and glazing to lower energy consumption and cost, and reduce air pollution by limiting infiltration of outdoor pollutants into the building's air supply.
(Alan Hedge, Ying Hua, Donald Greenberg)
Through collaboration with a dozen other research Universities, Cornell faculty are examining new means by which the electric-power industry can achieve high performance requirements and restructuring goals to produce a "Smart Grid". Areas of investigation include analysis of new transmission roles, such as fast control of power flow, development of new tools for design and analysis, and exploration of new roles for information, communication and measurement systems.
(Duane Chapman, William Schulze, Richard Schuler, Hsiao-Dong Chiang, Robert Thomas, Timothy Mount, Frank Wayno, K. Max Zhang)
New composite nano-materials have the promise of increased performance in rechargable lithium batteries. Cornell researchers have invented new nano-structured oxides, semiconductors, and metals, as well as organic and polymeric materials that could lead to more durable and inexpensive battery systems for use in transportation vehicles or in portable electronic devices.
(Héctor Abruña, Ulrich Wiesner, Lynden Archer, Frank DiSalvo, Richard Hennig, Tomas Arias, David Muller, Rick Robinson, Joel Brock, Emmanuel Giannelis, Geoff Coates)
Scientists and engineers at Cornell study the most efficient ways to optimize discovery and recovery of hydrocarbons, as well as to exploit coal and non-conventional hydrocarbons in manners that are more sustainable. They also probe the recovery of stranded resources, especially natural gas hydrates—a source of energy with important climactic implications.
(Larry Cathles, Paulette Clancy, Muawia Barazangi, Teresa Jordan, Richard Allmendinger, Alfred Center, Andrew Hunter, Duane Chapman, Jon Conrad)
The Cornell Fuel Cell Institute works to discover and develop novel materials for advanced fuel cell components that overcome the fundamental limitations in performance, durability and cost of current technologies. Additional functions of CFCI include collaboration with industrial and academic leaders in the fuel cell sector, as well as education of students and the public in fields of science and engineering relevant to energy production, storage, use, and efficiency.
(Héctor Abruña, Frank DiSalvo, Geoff Coates, James Engstrom, Emmanuel Giannelis, Richang Hennig, Bruce van Dover, Ulrich Wiesner)
Geothermal energy systems tap the renewable heat energy in the interior of the Earth. Heat stored in the easily tapped, hot hydrothermal sources a short distance below the surface, are currently widely exploited. Energy stored in hot rocks at substantial depths, reached by drilling similar to that in petroleum industry, have the prospect of supplying up to 100 gigawatts of electric power by mid-century. If developments on this order are realized from deep sources, geothermal power will play a significant role in the portfolio of energy technologies that will be needed to provide the carbon free energy that will be required in the near future.
(Jeff Tester, Terry Jordan, Larry Brown, Larry Cathles, Don Koch, Lou Derry, Matt Pritchard, Lynden Archer, Tony Ingraffea)
Faculty involved in solar energy research at Cornell focus on inorganic, organic and materials. Solar energy research aims to make new discoveries that are both energy efficient and cost effective. New technologies in the form of hybrid cells, improved semiconductor materials, and electroluminescent electronics among others fuel the development of the future of solar energy.
(Paulette Clancy, Héctor Abruña, Tobias Hanrath, George Malliaras, William Schaff, Mike Spencer, Uli Weisner, Frank Wise)
Wind and water energy are being investigated as two key renewable energy sources through collaboration of expertise in atmospheric science, aerodynamics, mechanics, materials science, and control engineering. Using creative turbine designs, researchers are working to develop mechanisms to generate energy from the winds and tidal flows of the Earth's natural landscape.
(David Caughey, Lance Collins, Al George, Emmanuel Giannelis, Sidney Leibovich, Matthew Miller, D. P. Loucks, Jery Russell Stedinger, Monroe Weber-Shirk, Philip Li-Fan Liu, Zellman Warhaft)