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Windmills in a open, grassy area.

Sustainable Energy

CBE currently has five highly interrelated research areas in sustainable energy:

  • Fuel cells
  • Flow batteries
  • Photovoltaic materials
  • Catalysis
  • Bio-fuels

Current research projects include inorganic and hybrid polymeric/biological photovoltaic materials; polyelectrolyte membrane hydrogen fuel cells; hydrogen generation via water splitting; advanced battery design; metabolic engineering for biofuel production; and catalytic CO2 reduction to fuels.

Current Faculty Research

Catalytic Reduction of CO2 to Fuels

> Siris Laursen

Harvesting and storing the intermittent energy of the Sun in the form of molecular bonds promises truly sustainable and environmentally friendly fuels and chemicals. One focus of the work at UT is on developing the fundamental physical understanding needed to rationally design photo-catalytically active semiconductor materials. In the above photograph, COis being reduced to CH4 and CH3OH fuels over a light-activated nano-particulate semiconductor-supported metal.


» Robert Counce

» Brian Edwards
Associate Head, Professor

» Paul Frymier
Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Engagement, Professor

» Bamin Khomami
Granger and Beaman Distinguished University Professor, Department Head

» Michael Kilbey

» Siris Laursen
Assistant Professor

» Stephen Paddison
Gibson Endowed Chair in Engineering

» Arthur Ragauskas
UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Biorefining

» Joshua Sangoro
Assistant Professor

» Cong Trinh
Ferguson Faculty Fellow in Chemical Engineering

» Tom Zawodzinski
UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage

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