Energy & Sustainability
Global warming, energy independence, and our economy all hinge on the development of safe, reliable, low-cost green energy. Researchers at WPI are exploring ways of generating energy sources that are reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable, and that do not add to the atmosphere's burden of greenhouse gases.
- In the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park, work funded by a leading biofuels manufacturer is aimed enhancing the production of ethanol from cellulose.
- In Mechanical Engineering, the Mechanical Energy and Power Systems Laboratory seeks to develop technology that will make possible highly fuel efficient hydraulic hybrid vehicles.
- WPI's Fuel Cell Center is working to make these electrochemical devices practical as power sources for everything from automobiles to laptops, while the Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies, with support from the federal government and Shell, has developed new membrane technology that can generate pure hydrogen for fuel cells far more economically that previously possible.
- Work on various aspects of wind energy is underway in a number of laboratories at WPI. At the same time, a number of undergraduate projects are exploring real-world applications of wind energy and developing novel technology that uses kites to convert wind power into electric power.