Dept. of Energy to fund multimillion-dollar energy research center at UCLA

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science – a leader in research on sustainable energy and clean technology – will now house the multimillion-dollar Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The center will receive $11.5 million over five years from the DOE. It’s focus will be to create and produce nanoscale materials to use in converting solar energy into electricity, electrical energy storage, and capturing and separating greenhouse gases.

“We’ve been trying to establish (this) for a long time,” said Vidvuds Ozolins, UCLA professor of materials science and engineering and the new center’s director. “We want the center to provide revolutionary breakthroughs, game-changing solutions, and we want to carry the research into real life,” he said.

The center’s goal also include increasing societal awareness of sustainable energy issues through an integrated program of research, education and outreach, and will be collaborating with scientists and faculty at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Eastern Washington University, the University of Kansas and the University of California, Davis.

UCLA’s center will be one of 46 new EFRCs across the country.

For more details, visit the UCLA Newsroom.

High School Students Recycle Massive Amounts of Batteries

Almost 3,000 Las Vegas high school students from Centennial High gathered at a “Battery Swap” to commemorate Earth Day to show their commitment to environmental awareness.

Las Vegas students at Earth Day's Battery Swap 2009

Las Vegas students at Earth Day's Battery Swap 2009

Part of a school-wide celebration, students collected over 100,000 batteries of every kind, in any condition, including three 55-gallon drums donated by COX Communications, and cartons filled to the brim from local businesses. These were exchanged for packages of Eco-respectful Fuji EnviroMAX batteries. As per Nevada state regulations, all alkaline batteries will be recycled by Battery Solutions Inc.

“We are extremely impressed by the level of commitment shown by the students and faculty of Centennial High to this project,” said Jerome Pruett, Director of Retail Sales and Marketing for Fuji EnviroMAX Batteries, sponsor of the event. “Not only did you learn about what happens when you throw a toxic battery in the trash,” Pruett said, “(you’re) helping everyone around you understand how easy is to make a small change to help the environment.”

It’s pretty exciting to see what young people can do when they get inspired.

Fuji EnviroMAX batteries, winner of the The National Parenting Center’s 2009 Seal of Approval, are one of the first disposable, eco respectful batteries on the market. The batteries are free of mercury, cadmium and PVC plastic, and can be disposed of in most landfills.* In addition, they are made in ISO 14001 environmentally-certified plants and are packaged with over 75% recycled materials.