The National Science Foundation's Energy for Sustainability Grant
The Energy for Sustainability grant seeks to support engineering projects that will enhance innovation in the sustainable production of electricity and fuels, and energy storage.
The topic the National Science Foundation is interested in for the purposes of this grant is available on their website, but an excerpt from the website is below:
Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy: Fundamental research on innovative approaches that lead to the intensification of biofuel and bioenergy processes is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: biological, thermochemical, or thermocatalytic routes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol; microbial fuel cells for direct production of electricity from renewable carbon sources; hydrogen production from autotrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms; hydrocarbons and lipids from phototrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms. Proposals that focus primarily on chemical reactor analysis related to biomass conversion should be submitted to Process Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular Thermodynamics (CBET 1403), and proposals related to the combustion of biomass should be sent to Combustion and Fire Systems (CBET 1407). Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of catalysis should be submitted to Catalysis (CBET 1401). Proposals focused on biocatalysis, metabolic engineering, or synthetic biology should be sent to the
Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering Program (1491).
Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Energy: Fundamental research on innovative processes for the fabrication and theory-based characterization of future PV devices is an emphasis area of this program. Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to: nano-enabled PV devices containing nanostructured semiconductors, plasmonic materials, photonic structures, or conducting polymers; earth-abundant and environmentally benign materials for photovoltaic devices; photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical processes for the splitting of water into H2 gas, or for the reduction of CO2 to liquid or gaseous fuels. Proposals that focus on the fundamentals of photocatalysis should be submitted to Catalysis (CBET 1401). The generation of thermal energy by solar radiation is not an area supported by this program, but may be considered by Thermal Transport Processes (CBET 1406).
Advanced Batteries for Transportation and Renewable Energy Storage: Radically new battery systems or breakthroughs based on existing systems can move the US more rapidly toward a more sustainable transportation future. The focus is on high-energy density and high-power density batteries suitable for transportation and renewable energy storage applications. Advanced systems such as lithium-air, sodium-ion, as well as lithium-ion electrochemical energy storage are appropriate. Work on commercially available systems such as lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries will not be considered by this program. Fuel-cell related proposals should be directed to other CBET programs, depending on emphasis: electrocatalysis (Catalysis, CBET 1401); membranes (Chemical and Biological Separations, CBET 1417); systems (Process Systems, Reaction Engineering and Molecular Thermodynamics, CBET 1403).
Examples of award-winning grant proposals can be found at the bottom of the announcement.