$12M grant to fund smart energy research at BU

By Jillian Marshall

June 19, 2014 Updated Jun 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's one of the biggest grants Binghamton University has ever received, and the research could impact anyone who has a cell phone.

BU announced that it received a $12.8 million grant from the Department of Energy Thursday afternoon.

The university's North East Center for Chemical Energy Storage, or NECCES, will use this grant to continue its smart energy research by attempting to push the boundaries of energy storage and lithium-ion battery life.

NECCES Director Stanley Whittingham said this grant will help researchers understand chemical reactions in energy storage materials, which would lead to the development of cheaper and environmentally-friendly energy storage.

"Being able to add materials into a matrix of materials, bringing in new materials, which enhance the energy consumption, and then moving them out without damaging the matrix, so that means it is fully recoverable," said Vice President of Research at Binghamton University Bahgat Sammakia.

For BU, it's another big step to becoming a premiere school in New York, as well as the country.

"It's a big win for us and our reputation. The financial support is going to be great support, dozens of graduate students, faculty, research time, equipment, materials, expenses. We expect that the technologies can also have practical applications that could develop into patents," said Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University.

More than 200 schools and companies applied for the Department of Energy grant. BU is one of 32 to get a piece of it.

The four-year grant will affect graduate students who are studying science disciplines like chemistry, mechanical engineering, physics and material science.

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