The Sustainable Environmental Technologies Group conducts research in the area of sustainable energy and environment. The focus of our research is to reduce pollution during energy generation, reduce energy consumption and investigate alternate energy technologies.
In area of pollution (including GHGs) reduction, SETG is working on reducing mercury emissions from coal burning power plants, Dioxin, PAH and particle emissions from wood burning hydronic heaters, CO2 sequestration using algae photo bioreactors and by using GIS assisted land management.
In area of alternate energy/fuels, SETG is working on harnessing solar energy to power laser to generate sustainable energy via magnesium combustion cycle and converting waste plastics into diesel fuel.
In area of energy consumption, SETG is investigating the impact of advanced solid state lighting on environment and human behavior.
SETG research has also covered a wide variety of topics ranging from:
- High-Pressure Combustion Research
- Multi-dimensional GC-MS to identify and study formation of endocrine disrupting
- Carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals from various controlled and uncontrolled combustion sources
- Use of plasma ignition to enhance combustion quality to reduce emissions
Study of soot and PAH emissions from Jet and diesel engines
- Evaluation of ignition and emission characteristics of alternate fuels(e.g. bio-diesel, Fischer-Tropsch)
- Remediation of PCB contaminated soil using nanocatalyst
- Emissions from cooking all the way to elucidation of dioxin formation mechanism in cement kilns
SETG research is funded by various government agencies (NSF, DOE, OCDO, NASA, AFRL, SERDP and EPA) and industry (Environmental Chemical Corp., Portland Cement Association, and Southdown).
- CO2 sequestration technologies – Algae, Cryo Cell etc.
- Development of carbon neutral fuels including research in biomass fermentation and catalytic pyrolysis of biomass feedstock.
- Evaluation of carbon footprint of facilities and development of strategies for reduction of carbon footprint (land management, process changes, increase in energy efficiency etc.)
- Evaluation and development of alternate non-hydrocarbon fuel based energy generation technologies (solar collectors, magnesium combustion cycle, bio-fuel cells, wind etc.)
- Pollution prevention technologies- material substitution (printed circuit boards), process changes (outdoor hydronic heaters, agricultural plastic waste burning).
- Waste to Energy technologies – plastic waste to fuel, municipal waste to electricity/steam generation.
- Pollutant control technologies – Nano structured catalyst, mercury oxidizing adsorbants, etc.
- Evaluation of emission and ignition characteristics of bio and other alternate fuels.
- Life cycle analysis of environmental and economic impacts of energy production.