Colorado State University Clean Energy Supercluster Awards 2012 Seed Grants

Colorado State University’s Clean Energy Supercluster has distributed its fifth round of seed grants to promote emerging technologies and education about clean energy solutions.

More than 150 researchers across campus participate in the academic side of the Clean Energy Supercluster on everything from economics and policymaking to new energy sources.

Launched in 2008, the Clean Energy Supercluster (CES) team has the breadth, depth and entrepreneurial drive to make a global impact. Team members represent fields as diverse as the natural sciences, engineering, agricultural sciences, natural resources, humanities, applied human sciences, veterinary medicine and business. In addition, a growing number of students and industry leaders are tapping into the growing network

For more information about the Clean Energy Supercluster, visit

The following projects span five colleges and 11 departments that include 17 faculty, community members and students:

Biofuels and Emerging Technology:

“Nanoparticle Catalysts for Biomass Conversion into Platform Chemicals and Biofuels” ($15,000 in partnership with Sustainable BioEnergy Development Center)
Researcher: Eugene Chen, Department of Chemistry

“Influence of Drought Stress on Bioenergy Traits in Sweet Sorghum” ($14,952)
Researchers: Courtney Jahn and Marie Turner, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management

“Terpenoid production in Synechocystis PCC 6803 Using Computation Based Design” ($25,000)
Researchers: Ashok Prasad and Christie Peebles, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

“A Biorefinery Approach to the Production of Biofuels and Bioactives from Sweet Sorghum” ($29,805)
Researchers: Jairam Vanamala, Department of Food Science; Ken Reardon, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; and Edward Settle, Great Valley Energy

Solar and Efficiency:

“Development of Low-Cost Conditioning Monitoring using Wireless Microcontroller Electricity Measurements” ($24,711)
Daniel Zimmerle, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Anura Jayasumana, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Jerry Duggan, SAVInnovations

“Real Time Nitric Oxide Laser Sensor for Engine Feedback” ($15,000)
Researchers: Azer Yalin and Daniel Olsen, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Smartgrids, Wind, Storage:

“Variability in Power Production and Capital Costs: The Economic Consequences of Nonlinear Wind Farm Dynamics” ($24,800)
Researchers: Paul Heyliger and Karan Venayagamoorthy, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Policy, Education, and Cross-Cutting Topics:

“Expanding the Educational Potential of Colorado’s Wind for Schools Program: Curriculum Development, Training, and Support for ‘Wind for School’ Sites” ($8,860)
Researchers: Christy Fitzpatrick, Claire Dixon and Cary Weiner, CSU Extension

“A Computable General Equilibrium Model to Support Energy Policy Decision-Making in Colorado” ($17,975)
Researchers: Harvey Cutler and Terrence Iverson, Department of Economics, and Bill Ritter, Center for the New Energy Economy

“Increasing Funding for Agricultural Energy Projects in Colorado” ($10,000)
Researchers: Michael Kostrzewa, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Cary Weiner, CSU Extension

White Papers:

“Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” ($9,750)
Researcher: Robert Duffy, Department of Political Science