Click to enlarge
March 10, 2007 Dr. Ronald Besser Energizes Soldiers in Combat
Dr. Ronald Besser of the Department of Chemical, Biomedical and Materials Engineering (PI) and Dr. Kurt Becker of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics (Co-PI) are being funded for their work in "Reforming of JP-8 in Microplasmas for Compact SOFC Power (<500 W)." They seek to solve one of the key limitations of today's soldier: the lack of dense sources of electrical energy to supply the array of high-tech but power-hungry tools at his/her disposal. By using tiny electrical discharges in miniature chemical reactor chips to convert a common engine fuel called JP-8 into a feed to a fuel cell, Besser and his group hope to unlock an inexpensive and much more effective source of energy than the best batteries. The project has potential impacts on power supplies for non-military systems as well, including portable electronics, remote sensing, and lightweight vehicles. The project is funded by the Army Research Office at $360,000 and will last three years.