Mines partners with Yale University on $2.6M grant to research low cost power generation from waste heat

GOLDEN, Colo., Nov. 28, 2012 – Colorado School of Mines and Yale University researchers have been awarded $2.6 million by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) for a study aimed at producing low-cost electricity.

Through the study, “Power Generation from Waste Heat with a Closed-Loop Membrane-Based System,” researchers will develop a system to generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat from power plants, industrial facilities and geothermal wells.

This system will use waste heat and the difference in salt content between two liquid streams to create electricity through membrane processes known as pressure-retarded osmosis and reverse electrodialysis. This technology has the potential to produce electricity from waste heat at low cost. 

Tzahi Cath, civil and environmental engineering associate professor and director of the Advanced Water Technology Center at Mines, is leading a group that will design and build the first pilot system using the novel technologies.

The Mines-Yale collaboration is one of 66 cutting edge research projects selected to receive a total of $130 million in funding through ARPA-E’s “OPEN 2012” program.

“With ARPA-E and all of the Department of Energy’s research and development efforts, we are determined to attract the best and brightest minds at our country’s top universities, labs and businesses to help solve the energy challenges of this generation,” said Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. “The 66 projects selected today represent the true mission of ARPA-E: swinging for the fences and trying to hit home runs to support development of the most innovative technologies and change what’s possible for America’s energy future.”

For more information, see the ARPA-E website.



Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu
David Tauchen, Public Relations Specialist / 303-273-3088 / DTauchen@mines.edu