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Energy Dept to Fund Minnesota Chemistry Computation Centers

Laura Gagliardi (University of Minnesota)

Laura Gagliardi (University of Minnesota)

University of Minnesota’s chemistry department received two grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for research on software and computational methods on materials from nanotechnology and systems for transporting solar energy. The two five-year grants total $13.1 million, and will be shared by other universities and national labs.

The Nanoporous Materials Genome Center, headed by Minnesota chemistry professor Laura Gagliardi (pictured left), will develop computational tools to characterize and predict the performance of millions of nanoscale advanced materials, with potential for the capture of greenhouse gases and storing hydrogen. The nanomaterials center will also devise methods to improve chemical catalysis and separations used in environmental research, and increase the efficiency of petroleum and biofuels processes.

The nanomaterials center will receive $8.1 million over five years. While based in Minnesota, the center will also involve researchers at University of California-Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Washington State University, Rice University, Georgia Tech, and Northwestern University.

Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Charge Transfer and Charge Transport in Photoactivated Systems will develop methods, algorithms, and software tools for reliable modeling of charge transfer and charge transport in photoactivated systems. These processes are used in the capture and conversion solar energy to electric power.

Chemistry professor Christopher Cramer will lead the center, funded at $5 million for five years through the Energy Department’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative. Research partners in the center are Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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